Thursday, 6 December 2018

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NATO Sending War Ships to Crimean Coast



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US Navy sends ship to Russia’s Far East, reportedly prepares to enter Black Sea

US Navy sends ship to Russia’s Far East, reportedly prepares to enter Black Sea

RT,
5 December, 2018

An American destroyer sailed off the Russian coast, near the Pacific Fleet base in Vladivostok, in a first such stunt since the Cold War. Another US ship is expected in the Black Sea soon, amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The USS MCCampbell (DDG-85) went into the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to “challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims and uphold the rights, freedoms, and lawful uses of the sea” enjoyed by the US and others, Lieutenant Rachel McMarr, a spokesperson for the US Pacific Fleet, said in a statement.

The US Navy calls such stunts “Freedom of Navigation Operations” (FONOP). The last time a FONOP was conducted in this area was 1987, at the peak of Cold War tensions with the Soviet Union.

The US sailed the guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell Wednesday "in the vicinity of Peter the Great Bay to challenge Russia's excessive maritime claims" in the Sea of Japan, according to the US Navy https://cnn.it/2Qy8b9a 

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

Peter the Great Bay was named after the first emperor of Russia, and is dotted with bases of the Russian Pacific Fleet. The presence of a US destroyer in the area is comparable to a Russian sail-by of San Diego, California or Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Peter the Great Bay © Google Maps

Washington does not recognize Russia’s territorial claims in the Sea of Japan, with a Navy official telling CNN they far exceed the 12 nautical mile limit guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). While Russia has ratified the convention, the US has not.

That is not all, however. The US Navy could also be planning to send a warship into the Black Sea in the near future. CNN reported that the State Department has notified Turkey of the intent to send a warship through the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, which requires a 15-day notice under the terms of the 1936 Montreux Convention.

The 1936 treaty also limits the presence of ships from nations that don’t border the Black Sea to a maximum of 21 days. The US last had a ship in the area back in October.

Anonymous US officials told CNN the move was a response to last month’s incident between Russian coast guard ships and three Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea.

We routinely conduct operations to advance security and stability throughout the US 6th Fleet area of operations to include the international waters and airspace of the Black Sea,” fleet spokesman Commander Kyle Raines told CNN.

The US has also repeatedly sent ships to the parts of East China Sea claimed by Beijing, drawing repeated protests from China - most recently last week, when the guided missile cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) sailed through the area.


The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a 1987 nuclear arms control treaty

 
The Kremlin said on Wednesday that the United States was manipulating facts in order to falsely accuse Russia of violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces arms control treaty and create a pretext to leave it. Russia's General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov added that Russia will retaliate against U.S. allies hosting U.S. missiles in the case of confrontation - including with the use of new laser technology.

You as military professionals must understand that the target for Russian retaliation won’t be U.S. territory but the countries where the intermediate-range missiles are deployed,” Gerasimov said in a statement.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Russia's Defense Ministry claimed it has deployed laser weapons, including the Peresvet laser, which while most of its capabilities remain secret is believe by military experts to be capable of disrupting "drones, missiles and aircraft."

Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled multiple new weapon systems during his annual address in March, the actual operational capabilities of which were largely disputed at the time.

The laser is named for a 14th century Orthodox monk who single-handedly fought the Tatar champion at the Battle of Kulikovo.

The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a 1987 nuclear arms control treaty, saying it would be forced to start a six-month process of withdrawal if nothing changed.

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