DISINFO: USS John McCain aggressively passed into Russian territorial waters
The Russian Navy threatened to ram the USS John McCain after it aggressively passed into the country’s territorial waters near Peter the Great Bay off Vladivostok, after which it thankfully reversed its course.
A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about encircled Russia.
The vessel (USS John McCain) mentioned in the article was performing what the US Navy describes as a freedom of navigation operation, or FONOP, in the vicinity of Peter the Great Gulf, which Russia claims as Russian territorial waters, but that the United States considers international waters.
According to a US Navy press release, in 1984 the then-Soviet Union declared a system of straight baselines along its coasts that included a baseline enclosing Peter the Great Gulf as internal waters. Russia has continued since making such excessive claim, but the United States contends that it includes more water than the country is entitled to claim under international law.
The Soviet Union first claimed Peter the Great Bay as a historic bay by a 1957 Decree. The United States protested the claim that same year, as did Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany. The 106-mile closing line is, at one point, more than 20 miles from any land territory, and 47 miles seaward from Vladivostok, an important Soviet naval base in the past.
The international law of the sea as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention provides for certain rights and freedoms and other lawful uses of the sea to all nations. The United States upholds these rights and freedoms as a matter of principle to preserve the freedom of the seas that is critical to global security, stability, and prosperity. The US Navy asserted that "as long as some countries continue to assert maritime claims that are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention and that purport to restrict unlawfully the rights and freedoms enjoyed by all States, the United States will continue to defend the rights and freedoms of the sea guaranteed to all".