US Challenges Russian Claims in Sea of Japan

The guided-missile destroyer USS Mc Campbell in a 2015

The US Navy sailed the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell near contested waters in the Sea of Japan Wednesday, an action that is bound to irk Russian Federation.

Just last week, the United States sent the USS Chancellorsville, a guided-missile cruiser, near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea to similarly challenge China's "excessive maritime claims", the Navy said.

Despite the name of the bay, the US does not recognize Russia's claims that exceed the 12 miles out from the coastline that worldwide law provides. "What is more, during all its passage through the worldwide waters, the USA destroyer was moving under control of the Russian Admiral Tributs large anti-submarine ship, which was in close proximity, as well as of the Pacific Fleet naval aircraft", Konashenkov said.

USA warships usually carries such "freedom of navigation" mission in the disputed South China Sea to challenge ownership claims by Beijing and reassure allies in the troubled region.

A spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry said Russian Federation "scrupulously abides by the provisions of the treaty, and the US side knows this".

Despite mentioning Russian Federation in her comments, McMarr said that such operations were "not about any one country, nor are they about current events".

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She said: "These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever global law allows".

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

The USS McCampbell guided missile destroyer did not come closer than 100 kilometres (62 miles) from Russian territorial waters, Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj.

It was the first time the U.S. has conducted such an operation through the bay since 1987, a U.S. Navy official told ABC News.

Citing the Black Sea dispute, President Donald Trump last week canceled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

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