Publication:
CONTROVERSIAL INNOCENT PASSAGES IN THE BLACK SEA, 1982 - 2021

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Authors
Albert, Matthew D.
Subjects
Black Sea
bumping incident
Caron
China
Cold War
Crimea
Defender
Dragon
East Asia
FONOPS
Gorshkov
great power competition
HMS
INCSEA
innocent passage
international waters
maritime
Montreux Convention
nationalism
NATO
Navy
Novorossiya
PLAN
Reagan
Russia
Sea of Japan
shouldering
South China Sea
Soviet Union
Spruance
strategy
territorial waters
TTW
Turkey
UK
UNCLOS
United States
USS
USSR
warship
Yorktown
grey zone
FONOPs guidance
NWOT
Advisors
Matovski, Aleksandar
Date of Issue
2022-09
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
How and why has Russia disputed innocent passages by Western warships in the Black Sea since the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III) in 1982, and how has the West justified conducting these passages? This thesis focuses on the historical, geopolitical, and legal context surrounding four instances of innocent passage conducted by USS Yorktown and USS Caron (1986 and 1988), HMS Dragon (2020), and HMS Defender (2021) within 12 nautical miles of Crimea, in order to explain the broader implications that these innocent passages have for operations in the disputed waters of the Black Sea and the South China Sea. Whereas the 1986 innocent passage was met with Soviet naval interference and diplomatic protests, the 1988 innocent passage escalated to an infamous shouldering or “bumping incident.” A similar pattern of escalation took place after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. In my thesis, I provide a historical context for the innocent passages, and I explore U.S. and UK reasoning for conducting the innocent passages as well as Russia’s objections to the passages. Finally, I assess what the disputes suggest for similar maritime disputes with China in the South China Sea and propose a template for Navy-Wide Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOP) guidance.
Type
Thesis
Description
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Other Units
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
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Funder
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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