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US Navy ship breaching border expelled, says Russia

By REN QI in Moscow | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-11-30 09:15
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Russia has strongly protested to the United States over a destroyer entering into Russian territorial waters last Tuesday, calling it "a blatant provocation geared to break down peace and good order".

The US warship had violated Russia's maritime border "with an aim of challenging the legal status of the Peter the Great Bay", Russia's foreign ministry said.

"Washington is well aware of Russia's position concerning these waters that are internal waters of our country covered by Russia's sovereignty. Attempts to claim otherwise are inadmissible."

Moscow called on Washington to drop provocations linked with violations of Russian borders and warned of possible consequences for such violations. "The fact that an American warship entered Russia's territorial sea creates no consequences for the status of the corresponding waters in terms of international law and cannot create any. We urge the United States (to) refrain from such reckless provocations in future. Responsibility for possible consequences will rest entirely on the American side."

A demarche was presented to the US side via military diplomatic channels following the incident, the ministry said.

"Such muscle flexing is apparently meant to exacerbate the situation, which once again proves that at the current historical stage the United States is opting to use (forceful) methods to advocate … foreign policy interests."

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, on Tuesday Russia's Admiral Vinogradov anti-submarine destroyer expelled the United States' USS John McCain that had violated the Russian border in the Peter the Great Bay.

The US ship was at least two kilometers past the border, the ministry said, and after a warning was issued it returned to neutral waters.

'False mission'

The US Seventh Fleet responded by saying USS John S. McCain had not been "expelled" from any country, and a spokesman for the US Navy's Seventh Fleet, Lt Joe Keiley, said "the Russian Federation's statement about this mission is false".The destroyer allegedly carried out an operation there to ensure freedom of navigation.

Keiley also said the US did not agree that Peter the Great Bay was a "historical harbor" under international law.

Russia's foreign ministry also accused the US and its European allies of seeking to protect the real culprits behind chemicals weapons provocations by accusing Russia and turning up the heat on Syria.

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