Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Russian Military Tracks US Destroyer in Sea of Japan - MoD

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mc Campbell in a 2015 The guided-missile destroyer USS Mc Campbell in a 2015
Ellis Copeland | 08 December, 2018, 22:02

"What is more, during all its passage through the worldwide waters, the USA destroyer was moving under control of the Russian Admiral Tributs large anti-submarine ship, which was in close proximity, as well as of the Pacific Fleet naval aircraft", Konashenkov said.

Nor did the Navy leave any ambiguity about why the USS McCampbell made the journey. Through a statement, the Navy said that the maneuver was a way "to challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms and lawful uses of the sea enjoyed by the United States and other nations", NBC News reported. Russia's claims in Peter the Great Bay extend 12 nautical miles from the mouth of the bay, but the United States only recognizes claims within 12 nautical miles of the coast.

The warship sailed close to the Peter the Great Bay, home to the city of Vladivostok and the Russian Pacific Fleet, according to the U.S. Navy.

"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. Russian Federation annexed the peninsula from Ukraine in 2014.

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.

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This week, the Kremlin's defense ministry reportedly acknowledged that Russian Federation is holding naval war exercises and surface-to-air missile drills in the Black Sea region.

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. While Russia has ratified the convention, the USA has not. Since 1987, the United States has not conducted the operation freedom of navigation in this area.

The operation comes as the United States and Russia are clashing over a variety of issues, including US accusations that Russia has violated terms of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, and USA complaints over recent Russian operations near Ukraine.

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

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.

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