Russian Military Tracks US Destroyer in Sea of Japan - MoD

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mc Campbell in a 2015

On Wednesday, a U.S. Navy destroyer sailed through Russian-claimed waters off the Sea of Japan, in Peter the Great Bay off the Russian port city of Vladivostok, in a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP).

A U.S. Navy warship sailed in waters claimed by Russian Federation in the Sea of Japan on Wednesday as tensions increase over the Trump administration's decision to withdraw from a decades-old arms control treaty.

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

US officials say such operations are meant to enforce the right of free passage in global waters and to challenge excessive claims. Worldwide law - specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which Russian Federation is a party to and the United States an unratified signatory to - provides for territorial seas extending for 12 nautical miles from a coastal states' territory.

The official told CNN that this was the first time the us has conducted a freedom of navigation operation in that area since 1987, when the Soviet Union was the government making those claims.

She explained that such operations "demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

The US military responded this week to what it calls Russia's "unlawful and destabilizing actions" in Ukraine and elsewhere by pushing back against Moscow on the seas and in the air.

US media say the US Navy is also planning a similar operation in the Black Sea, where Crimea is located. He said the latest USA operation in the Sea of Japan may indicate increasing United States concern about Russia's posturing in the Pacific.

The McCampbell's operation comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Moscow on a range of issues, including the announcement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Tuesday that the US would pull out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days should Russian Federation fail to return to compliance.

Ultimately, however, Russia's actions and its detention of Ukrainian sailors prompted Trump to cancel a planned meeting with Putin during the G20 summit. Thus, Moscow claims in areas that were separated by more than 12 miles from the Russian coast.

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. 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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