United States warship sails in Sea of Japan waters claimed by Russian Federation

07 December, 2018, 18:59 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Department of Defense

CNN reported that the Pentagon had asked the State Department to inform Turkey that it planned to send a warship to the Black Sea. Citing satellite images, Fox News also reported recently that the Russian military deployed additional S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries to Crimea.

In a typical rah-rah fashion, the fleet's spokesperson, Lieutenant Rachel McMarr, claimed that the ship sailed there to "challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims".

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 US Navy has not conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the area since 1987 during the height of the Cold War, a naval source told CNN.

Vladivostok, in Russia's far southeast, is home to the country's Pacific Fleet.

Wednesday's operation came amid reports that the United States was considering moving a Navy warship into the Black Sea in connection with last week's incident in the Kerch Strait.

The US is required to notify Turkey about the passage through the straits under the Montreux Convention, a 1936 treaty that governs the passage of military vessels through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which connect the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.

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Russian Federation does not have legitimate claims to the waters 12 nautical miles beyond its coastline under worldwide law, a spokesperson for the US Pacific Fleet said.

Korotchenko said Russian Federation would not resort to "silly" attempts to project military power.

"These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows", McMarr said, according to CNN. In 2014, Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine and has since been providing support to separatist forces against the Ukrainian government.

The operation on Wednesday follows Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's announcement on Tuesday that the US would pull out of the INF treaty unless Russian Federation addresses what he called Moscow's "flagrant disregard" of its terms.

Mr Putin's official spokesman responded by declaring formal talks between the two leaders were now "out of the question".

"We will continue to assess our presence in the region", he proclaimed.

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