Russian media: American warship carrying cruise missiles disrupted Russian Navy parade in Saint Petersburg
The ships of the Russian Baltic Fleet suddenly left the port of St. Petersburg because of the proximity of the American destroyer with Tomahawk cruise missiles, writes Fontanka news web site.
The day before, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that the planned naval Victory Day parade would not be held, but it didn’t give any reasons for the cancellation.
According to Fontanka, the parade was cancelled because the U.S. destroyer USS Carney approached Russia's coast at a distance sufficient for a potential missile strike into the Gulf of Gdansk.
The news outlet writes that the previous evening, at the Kronstadt port, where the Leningrad naval base is located, one could observe an “unusual animation".
According to Fontanka, the ammunition was loaded on the three submarines and Morshansk missile ship and then they sailed into the Baltic Sea. In addition, Stoykiy Corvette had its anti-aircraft system put in operational mode.
An officer from the Baltic Fleet told Fontanka that the residents don’t need to be scared and start “stashing salt and matches”. He said that such a dispersal of warships into the sea is a normal tactic of the Navy in the event of a threat of a surprise missile attack.
According to the officer, moored along the peer in the Neva River, the Baltic ships are completely defenseless, but when they are at sea positioned in “anti-missile order” they can successfully repel an enemy strike and counterattack.
At the same time, the Chairman of the Russian public initiative for fleet support, Mikhail Nenashev, told Govorit Moskva (Moscow Speaks) news web site that the parade had been cancelled not because of the American destroyer, but because of organizational inconsistencies between the leadership of Baltic Fleet and the Western military region.
USS Carney is equipped with SPY-1D phased array radar and missiles that can reach extended ranges. Carney is also equipped with the US Navy’s latest Surface Warfare Combat System. Land attack cruise missile strike capability is provided by Tomahawk missiles.
In 2012 USS Carney was upgraded to RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) capability in order to function as part of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System.
Fontanka writes that the “nervousness of Russian officials” can be due to the presence of Tomahawk missiles aboard USS Carney since the American strikes on the Syrian Shayrat airbase showed that Russian S-400 anti-missile systems are not capable of intercepting these cruise missiles.
In addition to the presence of Carney off the Russian coast, there are other indications that NATO forces are active in the region. On 3 May, four NATO ships entered the Latvian port of Liepaja and two fifth-generation F-35A aircraft arrived at the Estonian Ämari airbase at the end of April.