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08 December 2018, 10:00 | Devin Moran
US Warship Poses Free Navigation 'Challenge' to Russia
The US destroyer sailed near Peter the Great Bay to "challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims" in a "freedom of navigation operation".
The US Navy issued a statement confirming the McCampbell, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer operating from US Naval Base Yokosuka in Japan, had taken part in the operation in Peter the Great Bay near the Russian naval port of Vladivostok, home to Vladimir Putin's Pacific Fleet. Worldwide law - specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Russian Federation is a party to and the United States an unratified signatory to - provides for territorial seas extending for 12 nautical miles from a coastal states' territory.
The US Navy also conducts freedom of navigation operations in an area of the South China Sea claimed by China.
The US Navy sent a warship to challenge Russia's maritime claims in the East Sea/Sea of Japan on Wednesday amid rising tensions between the military superpowers.
Peter the Great Bay was named after the first emperor of Russia, and is dotted with bases of the Russian Pacific Fleet.
"U.S. Forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis", Lt. McMarr added.
"These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows", McMarr said.
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.
"Russia's unprovoked assault on Ukrainian naval vessels within the Black Sea close to the Kerch Strait is a harmful escalation in a sample of more and more provocative and threatening exercise", the Pentagon stated in a press release, explaining the maneuver.
The U.S. Navy is also preparing to send a warship into the Black Sea for the first time in a month to shore up support to Ukraine after Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors aboard on November 25.
NATO has accusedRussia of developing weapons in violation of the treaty, and the State Department has warned Russian Federation that it has 60 days to return to compliance or the treaty is finished.
The U.S. military, which has made a series of high-profile FONOPs in the disputed South China Sea this year, characterized the operation as "routine" and did not target a specific country.
The last USA ship to enter the Black Sea was the fast transport ship USNS Carson City in October.
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