US Navy vessel sails through Russia-claimed waters

Lamar Ellis
December 8, 2018

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy notes, such actions on the part of States to challenge the excessive Maritime claims of Russian Federation.

CNN reported that the State Department has notified Turkey of the intent to send a warship through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which requires a 15-day notice under the terms of the 1936 Montreux Convention.

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.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has asked the State Department to seek approval from Turkey to sail US warships into the Black Sea.

The flight came the day after the US Navy had sailed the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell near the Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan, a move that irked Russian Federation, which maintains a territorial claim on the disputed waters that is not acknowledged by the US.

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.

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Russian Federation claims all of Peter the Great Bay, which is home to its Pacific fleet.

The Pacific Fleet says these operations demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows, including in the Sea of Japan and elsewhere around the globe.

The 1936 treaty also limits the presence of ships from nations that don't border the Black Sea to a maximum of 21 days. Despite all the bravado, the United States destroyer actually "never came closer than 100km" to the Russian territorial waters, the Defense Ministry's spokesperson, Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

The U.S. Navy is also preparing to send a warship into the Black Sea for the first time in a month to shore up support to Ukraine after Russian forces seized three Ukrainian vessels and 24 sailors aboard on November 25.

The incident took place near Crimea, a former Ukrainian territory on the Black Sea annexed by Russian Federation in 2014, triggering sanctions from the West.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo subsequently announced that the US would begin the process of withdrawing from the treaty in 60 days should Russian Federation not come back into compliance.

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