Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

USS McCampbell, U.S. Navy destroyer, challenges Russian Federation in Sea of Japan

USS McCampbell, U.S. Navy destroyer, challenges Russian Federation in Sea of Japan

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.

The US Navy issued a statement confirming the McCampbell, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer operating from US Naval Base Yokosuka in Japan, had taken part in the operation in Peter the Great Bay near the Russian naval port of Vladivostok, home to Vladimir Putin's Pacific Fleet.

The last time the USA conducted a "freedom of navigation operation" in that area, not far from Vladivostok, home of the Russian Pacific Fleet, was in 1987, when the country making such a territorial-waters claim was the Soviet Union.

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 global maritime law.

"These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows", US Navy spokeswoman Rachel McMarr said.

Korotchenko said Russian Federation would not resort to "silly" attempts to project military power. However, Russia claims the entirety of Peter the Great Bay, extending well beyond 12 nautical miles from sections of the coast. "That is true in the Sea of Japan, as in other places around the globe", McMarr said.

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The Navy official said the operation was not meant to single out Russian Federation, but is part of a comprehensive approach by the service to keep global sea lanes open.

The US Navy sent a guided-missile destroyer Wednesday to challenge Russian Federation in the Sea of Japan.

The US Navy regularly conducts FONOPS in the South China Sea, much to China's displeasure.

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

Tensions between Moscow and Washington are on the rise in the wake of apparent Russian aggression in the Sea of Azov, where Russian vessels rammed and fired on Ukrainian vessels before capturing the ships and their crews, and United States plans to withdraw from the Cold War Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a response to Russian violations.

Last month, Russian Federation seized three Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait, which links the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

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