Washington/Moscow: – The United States, who was posing challenges to the Chinese activities in the South China Sea, has now also issued a warning to Russia. On Tuesday, a US destroyer sailed close to the Russian marine region in the Sea of Japan, a part of the Asia-Pacific sector. The Russian defence department claimed that the Russian warships chased away the US destroyer. Even before this, there have been face-offs between the US and Russian warships and fighter jets in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions. But this is the first such instance in the Pacific sector.
On Tuesday, early in the morning, US destroyer USS John S McCain sailed through the Sea of Japan that lies between Russia and Japan. While sailing through Peter the Great Gulf, Russian warships warned the US destroyer to retreat. When the US destroyer reached within two kilometres of the Russian marine region, Russian warship Admiral Vinogradov turned to intercept the US destroyer. Russia claims that the US warship retreated after that. Following the aggressive activities of the US destroyer, Russia sent another of its warships, Sovershenyi, to follow the US warship.
The United States has dismissed Russian claims in clear words. The US Navy replied to Russia, saying, ‘The information given by Russia is completely false. USS McCain has not been driven out from any country’s marine region. US warship was carrying out a freedom of navigation mission, within the framework of the international regulations. The United States will not bow in front of any pressure exerted by any country. At the same time, the illegal claims regarding the marine regions also will not be accepted. Russia apparently is doing the same thing in this matter. The United States is committed to the freedom of marine freight movement and regulations for the marine sector.’
Russia had taken over a major part of the Sea of Japan, following a war with China, in the 19th century. Thereafter, Russia named the region as ‘Peter the Great Gulf’ and claimed that Russia had historic rights over the area. During the last century, Russia made attempts to increase the extent of this marine sector further. Russia has created the Pacific fleet and has caused massive security deployments in this region. But the United States does not recognise this Russian right and has warned that claims outside the scope of the international regulations will not be accepted.
Before this, the United States has not sent its warships in this region. But it is said that the US surveillance aircraft and Bombers, deployed at the military base in Japan, keep hovering near the area. Although the United States has focused on the Indo-Pacific sector since the last few years, its main focus is on Chinese activities in the South China Sea. Taking this background into account, the sailing of the US warships becomes significant.