US warship challenges Russian Federation claims in Sea of Japan

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Russian analyst has warned that America may see his nation's navy floor a submarine off its coast after the guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell was despatched into Russian-claimed waters on Wednesday.

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

Under global maritime law, a nation's territorial rights extend 12 miles from shore but Moscow claims the entire Peter the Great Bay as its own even though it stretches farther than that from parts of the Russian coast.

Despite the name of the bay, the US does not recognize Russia's claims that exceed the 12 miles out from the coastline that global law provides.

The US Navy also conducts freedom of navigation operations in an area of the South China Sea claimed by China. "These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

CNN reported Wednesday that the Navy is also preparing to sail a ship into the Black Sea in response to Russia's actions against Ukraine.

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Peter the Great Bay is the largest gulf in the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, and home both to the Russian city of Vladivostok and the Russian Navy's Pacific Fleet. He said the latest USA operation in the Sea of Japan may indicate increasing United States concern about Russia's posturing in the Pacific.

While the US Navy conducts such freedom of navigation operations all over the world, they come under increased scrutiny when they are aimed at contesting claims made by Russian Federation and China. "This applies to both the sea of Japan and to other places around the world", said Makmur.

The U.S. Navy has conducted several such operations in the South China Sea, sailing past islands claimed by China near Gaven and Johnson reefs in the Spratly Islands.

Background: This is the first FONOP conducted in the area since 1987.

This Naval activity followed less than two weeks after Russian Federation seized three Ukrainian vessels off the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea and the announcement by the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, made on Tuesday (4t December) that the U.S. will leave the INF Treaty if Russian Federation does not comply with it within 60 days. Under the rules of the treaty, countries that do not have a coastline on the Black Sea are required to provide Turkey with at least 15 days' notice prior to transiting the straits.

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