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U.S. destroyer conducts freedom-of-navigation operation near Russian Federation amid heightened tensions

U.S. destroyer conducts freedom-of-navigation operation near Russian Federation amid heightened tensions

The Arleigh-Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka (FLEACT) following its patrol of the USA 7th Fleet area of responsibility on October 5, 2015.

USA officials say such operations are meant to enforce the right of free passage in worldwide waters and to challenge excessive claims.

"We conduct routine and regular freedom of navigation operations, as we have done in the past and will continue to do in the future", McMarr said.

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.

According to United States officials, these operations are created to ensure respect for the right of free passage in worldwide waters and to challenge excessive claims.

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

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. In 2014, Russian Federation annexed Crimea from Ukraine and has since been providing support to separatist forces against the Ukrainian government.

More news: Souness predicts who will win the Premier League

The Peter the Great Gulf is the largest in the sea of Japan, there is a base of the Russian Pacific fleet.

This was the first time the USA has conducted a freedom of navigation operation in that area since 1987, when the Soviet Union was the government making those claims.

Maritime law dictates that a nation's sovereign territory only extends 12 nautical miles from shore.

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. This was the first FONOP in that part of the Sea of Japan since 1987, Pentagon officials said.

A Navy official told the news outlet the United States does not recognize Russia's claims on the waters, explaining Moscow lays claim to areas exceeding the 12 miles from the Russian coastline that is guaranteed by global law.

The 1936 treaty also limits the presence of ships from nations that don't border the Black Sea to a maximum of 21 days.

The US naval operation in Russian-claimed waters comes amid deepening tension between the 2 countries over Russia's seizure last month of Ukrainian naval vessels.


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