US Warship Poses Free Navigation 'Challenge' to Russian Federation

US Warship Poses Free Navigation 'Challenge' to Russian Federation

The Navy said in a statement that the USS McCampbell, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer operating from U.S. Naval Base Yokosuka in Japan, sailed near 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 United States and other nations".

The move is part of what the Navy calls "freedom of navigation operation", which challenges nations that claim sovereignty over waters beyond the 12 nautical miles allowed by worldwide maritime law. "What is more, during all its passage through the global waters, the U.S. 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.

The Navy sent a guided-missile destroyer into Russian-claimed waters in the Sea of Japan in what it called a "freedom of navigation" operation on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry said Russian Federation "scrupulously abides by the provisions of the treaty, and the USA side knows this". "These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows". The move came only a week after China mobilized its own vessels in response to a perceived transgression by the Navy. "That is true in the Sea of Japan, as in other places around the globe".

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The guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell in a 2015 photo.

It was the first time the U.S. has conducted such an operation through the bay since 1987, a U.S. Navy official told ABC News.

Last week Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with Mr Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina because of Russia's renewed campaign of aggression against Ukraine.

The U.S. has shared intelligence evidence with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies that it says shows that Russia's new SSC-8 ground-fired cruise missile could give Moscow the ability to launch a nuclear strike in Europe with little or no notice.

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