USS McCampbell, U.S. Navy destroyer, challenges Russian Federation in Sea of Japan

Demonstrating valor from 400km away’ Moscow rebuffs Pentagon’s naval bravado in Sea of Japan

USS McCampbell

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.

Russian Federation has said a possible US military presence on any of the disputed islands if they are returned to Japan remains a major stumbling block.

A Russian warship and aircraft escorted an American destroyer in the Pacific Ocean, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow said on Thursday, after the U.S. Navy said it had sailed near contested waters in the Sea of Japan.

Under global maritime law, a nation's territorial rights extend 12 miles from shore but Moscow claims the entire Peter the Great Bay as its own even though it stretches farther than that from parts of the Russian coast.

The U.S. warship conducted what the Navy refers to as a "Freedom of Navigation Operation", Lt. McMarr said.

The McCampbell's operation comes at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington.

Russian destroyer'Admiral Tributs
Russian destroyer'Admiral Tributs

"These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows", she added. "That is true in the Sea of Japan, as in other places around the globe", McMarr said.

The INF treaty, signed by ex-US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S Gorbachev in 1987, bans the development and deployment of cruise missiles with ranges between 500km and 5,500km.

The operation comes as the United States and Russia are clashing over a variety of issues, including USA accusations that Russia has violated terms of the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, and us complaints over recent Russian operations near Ukraine.

He said the USA will produce, test and deploy new missiles now banned under the treaty, a move that could pave the way for a nuclear arms race.

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow would walk away from the treaty if the US did the same.

The move was a response to last month's incident between Russian coast guard ships and Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, an unnamed source told CNN.

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