US Navy vessel sails Russian waters

US Navy has sent one of its destroyers to waters claimed by Russia in the Russian Far East in what is known as a freedom of navigation operation.

An American destroyer sailed off the Russian coast, near the Pacific Fleet base in Vladivostok, in a first such stunt since the Cold War.Another US ship is expected in the Black Sea soon, amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The USS MCCampbell (DDG-85) went into the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to “challenge Russia’s excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea” enjoyed by the US and others, Lieutenant Rachel McMarr, a spokesperson for the US Pacific Fleet, said in a statement.Reports Russia Insider

The US Pacific Fleet said the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell conducted the operation in the Sea of Japan on Wednesday. The destroyer is stationed in Japan at the Yokosuka Naval Base near Tokyo.

In a statement, the Pacific Fleet said the destroyer sailed in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay, near Vladivostok, “to challenge Russia’s excessive maritime claims.”

Under international law, a nation’s territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from the coast. The US objects to Russia’s claim to an area of the bay beyond the 12 nautical miles.
The US Navy also conducts freedom of navigation operations in an area of the South China Sea claimed by China.

The Pacific Fleet says these operations demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows, including in the Sea of Japan and elsewhere around the globe.

The US naval operation in Russian-claimed waters comes amid deepening tension between the 2 countries over Russia’s seizure last month of Ukrainian naval vessels.

US media say the US Navy is also planning a similar operation in the Black Sea, where Crimea is located. Russia annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014

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