U.S. Warships to 'Challenge' Russia in Both Eastern, Western Waters

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The US Pacific Fleet destroyer, "USS McCampbell", entered the Sea of Japan on Wednesday. In the South China Sea, despite perceptions that U.S. FONOPs have been exclusively conducted against Chinese claims, the U.S. Navy has also challenged excessive maritime claims made by U.S. allies and partners, including the Philippines and Vietnam.

After carrying out multiple "freedom of navigation" operations in waters contested by China, the USA has now sent a destroyer in to the contested waters in the Sea of Japan.

According to U.S. officials, these operations are created to ensure respect for the right of free passage in global waters and to challenge excessive claims.

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"The United States seeks a better relationship with Russian Federation, but this can not happen while its unlawful and destabilizing actions continue in Ukraine and elsewhere", he said. "This applies to both the sea of Japan and to other places around the world", said Makmur.

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. In addition, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Alliance has increased its military presence in the Black sea, the number of ships engaged in patrolling, increased to 20. That tactic is used to sail in waters considered worldwide - more than 12 nautical miles from shore - but which are claimed by one or more nations. Vladivostok is located along the edge of the bay and hosts the headquarters of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

Last week, the U.S. Navy sailed the guided-missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville near contested islands in the South China Sea, an operation that drew an immediate diplomatic protest from Beijing.

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The US warship conducted what the Navy refers to as a "Freedom of Navigation Operation" to push back against Russian claims on the waters. This was the first FONOP in that part of the Sea of Japan since 1987, Pentagon officials said.

The operation comes as the United States and Russia are clashing over a variety of issues, including US accusations that Russia has violated terms of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, and USA complaints over recent Russian operations near Ukraine. Under the rules of the treaty, countries that do not have a coastline on the Black Sea are required to provide Turkey with at least 15 days' notice prior to transiting the straits.

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