What caught the eye of Russian critics was Section 104, the part of the bill that presumed to grant the US “inspection authorities” over shipping ports (and major airports) far beyond the Korean Peninsula – specifically, ports in China, Russia, Syria, and Iran. The bill identifies more than 20 foreign targets, including: two ports in China (Dandong and Dalian and “any other port in the People’s Republic of China that the President deems appropriate”); ten ports in Iran (Abadan, Bandar-e-Abbas, Chabahar, Bandar-e-Khomeini, Bushehr Port, Asaluyeh Port, Kish, Kharg Island, Bandar-e-Lenge, Khorramshahr, and the Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport); four facilities in Syria (the ports at Latakia, Banias, Tartous and the Damascus International Airport) and; three ports in Russia (Nakhodka, Vanino, and Vladivostok). Under the proposed law, the US Secretary of Homeland Security could use the National Targeting Center’s Automated Targeting System to search any ship, plane, or conveyance that has “entered the territory, waters, or airspace of North Korea, or landed in any of the sea ports or airports of North Korea.” Any vessel, aircraft, or vehicle found in violation of this US law would be subject to “seizure and forfeiture.” House Bill Raises a Red Flag for Russia
“I hope [this bill] will never be implemented,” Kosachev told Sputnik News, “because its implementation envisions a scenario of power with forced inspections of all vessels by US warships. Such a power scenario is beyond comprehension, because it means a declaration of war.”
Russian officials were understandably outraged by Congress’ imperious move to extend the US military’s authority to include surveillance of sovereign ports in the Russian Far East. Russia’s Upper House heatedly noted that such actions constitute a violation of international law that was tantamount to a declaration of war.