The Russian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the crossing of the USS John S. McCain destroyer into Russia's territorial waters in the Peter the Great Gulf.
In a statement, the ministry said it qualifies the incident as an open provocation aimed at violating peace and order, noting that Russia reserves the right to retaliate.
Russian stance on the water area is well known to Washington, the ministry added emphasising that any attempts to doubt Russia's sovereignty over its internal waters is unacceptable.
Earlier, the Russian Defence Ministry said that a US Navy destroyer had entered Russian territorial waters some two kilometres (1.08 nautical miles) in the Peter The Great Bay. After receiving a warning from the Russian Pacific Fleet's large anti-submarine ship Admiral Vinogradov, the US vessel immediately sailed into neutral waters.
The US Seventh Fleet responded by stating that USS John McCain had not been "expelled" from any country. The destroyer allegedly carried out an operation there to ensure freedom of navigation. The US military also said the United States did not agree that Peter the Great Bay was a "historical harbour" under international law. The statement claims that the system under which Peter the Great Bay became part of Russian territorial waters was declared by the authorities of the Soviet Union in 1984.