US Warship Poses Free Navigation 'Challenge' to Russian Federation


US warship challenges Russia claims in Sea of Japan

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. Under worldwide maritime law, national sovereignty over water ends at 12 nautical miles.

According to a statement by a U.S. Navy official, the FONOP is the first of its kind in the area since 1987.

On Wednesday, the US Navy sailed the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell near contested waters in the Sea of Japan Wednesday, an action that is bound to irk Russian Federation. A spokesman told CNN Wednesday that Moscow lays claim to areas that far exceed the 12 miles from the Russian coastline that is guaranteed by worldwide law. Vladivostok is located along the edge of the bay and hosts the headquarters of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

"U.S. forces operate in the Indo-Pacific region on a daily basis", McMarr said.

"The United States seeks a better relationship with Russian Federation, but this can not happen while its unlawful and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere", he said. "That is true in the Sea of Japan, as in other places around the globe", her statement declared, The Hill reported.

The sailing underscores the increasing ire of Defense Secretary James Mattis toward Russian Federation and its adventurism in the Middle East and on its borders.

The US is required to notify Turkey about the passage through the straits under the Montreux Convention, a 1936 treaty that governs the passage of military vessels through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which connect the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

"We are dealing with someone that we simply can not trust", Mattis said during an interview with Fox News. We find that Russian Federation, on the surface, tries to make certain very deceitful statements stick. "And it has worsened the relationship".

Citing three unnamed officials, CNN also revealed Wednesday that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has begun making preparations to deploy a warship to the Black Sea.

The 1936 treaty also limits the presence of ships from nations that don't border the Black Sea to a maximum of 21 days.

"The Pacific Fleet has taken a package of measures to monitor the movements of this and other naval ships in the given area with ground and other means", he said.

Last week, Mattis said there would not be a show of force in the Black Sea "at this time" but hinted some action was under consideration.

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