Conflicts can get quickly close to US, Russian warship using ancient US Panama base
Russian destroyer Admiral Chabanenko enters Panama canal
Panama said its canal is open to all, including a Russian warship sailing through the transoceanic waterway on Friday.
The destroyer Admiral Chabanenko is the first Soviet or Russian military ship to traverse the 50-mile (80-kilometer) waterway since World War II.
The U.S. government has shown little concern about the destroyer's trip through a canal that was off limits to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The destroyer's journey to the Western Hemisphere, however, reflects Russia's growing influence and anger with the U.S. for using warships to deliver aid to Georgia after its August war with Russia.
Mc Cain US citizen born Panama canal zone
When it opened in 1914, the canal was a symbol of America's growing global reach. Now Russia taking action for Georgia, entering US spheres, Panama Caribbean Venezuela Cuba, opening a new game. "Hit me I beat you at home"
The destroyer entered the canal Friday night and was expected to take eight hours to reach the Pacific. Following its passage, the Admiral Chabanenko will dock at what was once the base for all U.S. naval activities in South America.
The U.S. government handed over the Rodman Naval Station and the canal to Panama nearly a decade ago, and the waterway has since become a symbol of Panama's true independence.
When it opened in 1914, the canal was a symbol of America's growing global reach and became a major U.S. military outpost for generations. The 10-mile-wide (16-kilometer-wide), 50-mile-long (80-kilometer-long) strip along the canal was considered U.S. territory — a fact that allowed Canal Zone native John McCain to run for the U.S. presidency.