A statement by the Indian Navy’s Seventh Fleet, closely watched by the Indian government, stated that they carried out the Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOPs) within the Exclusive Economic Zone near Lakshadweep without India’s permission. This US operation is against India’s Maritime Security Policy.
A statement by the US Department of Public Affairs of the Seventh Fleet stated, “On April 7, 2021 (local time) US ship USS John Paul used navigational rights and freedom within India’s exclusive economic zone 130 nautical miles west of Lakshadweep. , Which does not require prior consent from India in accordance with international laws … According to India, prior permission is mandatory for military exercises and movement within the Exclusive Economic Zone, but is not in conformity with international laws… “
This statement can be disconcerting for India, as the US is currently one of India’s closest strategic partners, and both sides have been steadfastly opposed to expansionism in China’s maritime, especially in the South China Sea. India and America also practice naval exercises throughout the year.
According to the statement, “We do routine and regular freedom of navigation operations, which we have done in the past and will continue to do in future … FONOPs are not about any one country, nor do they have any political meaning. Keep … “
There is currently no statement from the Indian Navy or the Indian Foreign Ministry on this statement.