Friday, September 17, 2021

Russian destroyer ‘aggressively’ approaches U.S. warship in Sea of Japan

On Tuesday, the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) was “aggressively approached” by a Russian Admiral Vinogradov anti-submarine destroyer in the Sea of Japan.

The Russian Navy ship was dangerously close to the U.S. guided-missile destroyer, the Navy’s announced today.

On Nov. 24 (local time) USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) asserted navigational rights and freedoms in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan. This freedom of navigation operation (“FONOP”) upheld the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea recognized in international law by challenging Russia’s excessive maritime claims.

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In 1984, the U.S.S.R declared a system of straight baselines along its coasts, including a straight baseline enclosing Peter the Great Bay as claimed internal waters. This 106-nautical mile (nm) closing line is inconsistent with the rules of international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention to enclose the waters of a bay. By drawing this closing line, the U.S.S.R. attempted to claim more internal waters – and territorial sea farther from shore – than it is entitled to claim under international law. Russia has continued the U.S.S.R. claim. By conducting this operation, the United States demonstrated that these waters are not Russia’s territorial sea and that the United States does not acquiesce in Russia’s claim that Peter the Great is a “historic bay” under international law.

The Russian Ministry of Defense, in turn, stated that the USS John S. McCain violated Russia’s territorial waters in the Peter the Great Gulf, “passing the maritime border by two kilometers”

According to the ministry, at 06:17 Moscow time (03:17 GMT) on Tuesday, the USS John S. McCain, which entered the Sea of Japan several days ago, violated Russia’s territorial waters in the Peter the Great Gulf, “passing the maritime border by two kilometers.”

“The Pacific Fleet’s Admiral Vinogradov anti-submarine destroyer used an international communication channel to warn the foreign vessel that such actions were unacceptable and the violator could be driven out of the country’s territorial waters in a ramming maneuver. After the warming was issued and the Admiral Vinogradov changed its course, the USS John S. McCain destroyer returned to international waters,” the statement said.

The Peter the Great Gulf is a gulf on the southern coast of Primorsky Krai, Russia, and the largest gulf of the Sea of Japan.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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