USA warship challenges Russian Federation claims in Sea of Japan

Bulgaria CNN US Makes Preparations to Sail Warship into Black Sea Amid Russia Ukraine Tensions

A Russian warship and aircraft escorted an American destroyer in the Pacific Ocean, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow said on Thursday, after the U.S. Navy said it had sailed near contested waters in the Sea of Japan.

The U.S. Navy has conducted a so-called freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) near disputed waters in the Sea of Japan, it said Thursday, to challenge "excessive maritime claims" made by Russian Federation in the area.

The U.S. warship conducted what the Navy refers to as a "Freedom of Navigation Operation", Lt. McMarr said.

Washington does not recognize Moscow's territorial claims beyond 12 miles off the coastline of the Peter the Great Bay, a large gulf located in the Sea of Japan, which is known as the East Sea on the nearby Korean Peninsula. "These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows". "That is true in the Sea of Japan, as in other places around the globe".

The US Navy bragged that its destroyer came to "challenge" Moscow in the Sea of Japan, but the ship didn't even come near Russia's territorial waters and was tracked all the way, the Defense Ministry said.

Relations have turned particularly sour after U.S. president Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the Soviet-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

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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 USA would pull out of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in 60 days should Russian Federation fail to return to compliance.

He said the United States will produce, test and deploy new missiles now banned under the treaty, a move that could pave the way for a nuclear arms race.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded, saying that if the US were to exit the treaty and build such missiles that Moscow would follow suit.

CNN reported Wednesday that the Navy is also preparing to sail a ship into the Black Sea in response to Russia's actions against Ukraine.

The US State Department has issued a 15-day notice to Turkey, telling authorities of its intention to sail a ship through the Bosphorus Strait, which links the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

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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