Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

US warship challenges Russia claims in Sea of Japan

US warship challenges Russia claims in Sea of Japan

The US destroyer sailed near Peter the Great Bay to "challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims" in a "freedom of navigation operation".

Throughout its voyage in global waters the United States destroyer was escorted by the Russian Pacific Fleet's anti-submarine ship The Admiral Tributs and the Pacific Fleet's naval aviation, Konashenkov said.

Nor did the Navy leave any ambiguity about why the USS McCampbell made the journey.

"These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows", US Navy spokeswoman Rachel McMarr said. It stressed that Moscow is swung to the space which exceeds a distance of 12 miles from the coast, as defined by global law.

Throughout the sailing, the USA warship was escorted and moved under the control of the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs and several warplanes of Russia's Pacific Fleet's naval aviation that were in close proximity, the Russian Ministry of Defence says further.

Pacific Fleet stressed to CNN that Wednesday's freedom-of-navigation operation (FONOP) was "not about any one country, nor are they about current events", adding, "These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows". Another US ship is expected in the Black Sea soon, amid tensions between Russian Federation and Ukraine.

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Russian Federation has "partially unblocked" Ukraine's ports on the Azov Sea, allowing ship traffic though the Kerch Strait, Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure Volodymyr Omelyan said Tuesday in a statement posted on the ministry's website.

Last week, the US Navy sailed the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville near contested islands in the South China Sea, an operation that drew an immediate diplomatic protest from Beijing.

The Peter the Great Gulf is the largest in the sea of Japan, there is a base of the Russian Pacific fleet.

A spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry said Russian Federation "scrupulously abides by the provisions of the treaty, and the United States side knows this". Under this law, any country' maritime rights extend only 12 nautical miles from shore. Since 1987, the United States has not conducted the operation freedom of navigation in this area.

The anti-Russia deployments and preparations by the U.S. Navy come amid heightened stress between Moscow and the West over Russia's seizure of two small Ukrainian military ships, a tugboat, and their crews on November 25.

Under the rules of the Montreux Convention, US ships can only be in the Black Sea for 21 days.

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