WASHINGTON – The US Navy sent a warship across the Sea of Japan to rarely fight Russia's maritime claims in international waters, officials said.
Wednesday's patrol known as "Freedom of Navigation" came amid tensions between Washington and Moscow over the arrest of Russia against three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew members for alleged violation of Russian territorial waters near the Black Sea in late November.
The US Navy routinely carries out such operations around the world. with particular emphasis on such patrols to meet China's maritime claims in the South China Sea. This is the first operation that has been directed against Russia in this region since 1987, an official said.
The missile destroyer McCampbell sailed through the Bay of Peter the Great in the Sea of Japan, said US spokeswoman Lieutenant Junior Grade Rachel McMarr Pacific Fleet Command in Hawaii.
The ship sailed through the bay "to deny Russia's excessive maritime claims and to uphold the rights, freedoms and legitimate uses of the sea for the US and other nations," she said.
The operation did not challenge any Russian land claims, as did many other operations in other parts of the world. In this case, the US has challenged allegations made at sea, officials said.
Moscow has long claimed these international waters as its own, officials said. The then Soviet Union moved in 1
The bay off the Russian coast in the Sea of Japan is located near the northernmost border of North Korea.
"This is about Russians blocking access to keep military surveillance out of their fleet," said Bryan Clark, executive officer of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. [LtMcMarrsaidUSforcesoperatedailyintheIndo-Pacific
"These operations show that the United States will fly, sail, and operate, where international law permits," she said, "as in other parts of the world World. "
The patrol came when the Navy also planned to send a warship into the Black Sea to defend Russian claims, several thousand miles off the West, a US military official said
Russian officials in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Write to Gordon Lubold at Gordon.Lubold@wsj.com and Nancy A. Youssef to firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the print edition of December 6, 2018 as the & # 39; Navy Tests Moscow With Warship in the Sea of Japan. & # 39;