The US Pacific Fleet destroyer, ‘USS McCampbell’, entered the Sea of Japan on Wednesday. In a typical rah-rah fashion, the fleet’s spokesperson, Lieutenant Rachel McMarr, claimed that the ship sailed there to “challenge Russia’s excessive maritime claims.”
She explained that such operations “demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows.”
It is the first time since 1987 when a US warship conducted a freedom of navigation operation close to Russian territorial waters in the Peter the Great Bay, the navy official boasted.
Moscow was left unimpressed. Despite all the bravado, the US destroyer actually “never came closer than 100km” to the Russian territorial waters, the Defense Ministry’s spokesperson, Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.
“Currently, the crew of ‘USS Campbell’ is ‘demonstrating’ its valor from more than 400km away from Russia’s territorial waters, in the central part of the Sea of Japan,” the military sarcastically remarked.
Moreover, during its journey, the US warship was closely tracked by a Russian destroyer ‘Admiral Tributs’ along with the aircraft of Russia’s Pacific Fleet, the MoD spokesperson noted.
The Russian vessel stayed “in immediate vicinity” of the US ship, the official stressed, so if ‘USS McCampbell’ managed to “demonstrate” anything, it was its “futile attempt” to use full speed to ditch the Russian destroyer.
Washington has stepped up its activity in the Pacific Ocean in recent years, with its ship conducting drills and freedom-of-navigation passages near Russian and Chinese territorial waters. Beijing slammed such operations as “provocative.”
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