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The Moscow Times: Russia unilaterally decides to redraw maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea

Russian authorities have decided unilaterally to change the country’s maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea, declaring new internal waters and adjusting geographical coordinates, according to a draft government decree published on the legal acts portal.
A SU-24 barrel-rolled above the US Warship Donald Cook in the neutral waters of the Baltic Sea on 13 April 2016. Photo: snapshot from video
The Moscow Times: Russia unilaterally decides to redraw maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea

Russian authorities have decided unilaterally to change the country’s maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea, according to a draft government decree published on the legal acts portal, reported The Moscow Times.

The document, prepared by the Russian Defense Ministry, says that Russia intends to declare part of the waters in the eastern Gulf of Finland and territory near the cities of Baltiysk and Zelenogradsk in the Kaliningrad region as its internal waters.

To achieve this objective, Russia has changed the geographical coordinates of the points that define the baselines from which the width of Russia’s territorial sea and the adjacent zone along the coast and islands are measured.

According to an attachment to the government decree, the Russian government plans to adjust the coordinates in the area of the islands of Yagry, Sommers, Hogland, Rodsher, Maly Tyuters, Vigrund, and near the northern entrance cape of the Narva River at the border with Finland.

At the border with Lithuania, the areas under Russian “revision” include the Curonian Spit in the Gulf of Gdańsk, the area around Cape Taran, the cape south of Cape Taran, and the Baltic Spit.

The Ministry of Defense proposes to partially “invalidate” the 40-year-old Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union decree regulating the borders in the Baltic, specifically the “Baltic Sea” section.

The document on the border revision, which the Finnish and Lithuanian foreign ministries have not yet officially commented on, was presented for public discussion almost simultaneously with the start of exercises on the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced that these exercises began in the Southern Military District, with the participation of “Iskander” complexes and aircraft armed with “Kinzhal” missiles. The goal of the drills is to prepare personnel for the use of non-strategic nuclear weapons and to respond “to provocative statements and threats from certain Western officials.” 

Update:

A Russian Defense Ministry proposal to change the Russian border in the Baltic Sea was deleted from an official document portal on 22 May.

“The draft is deleted,” the site said on the address where the document had earlier been visible, according to Reuters.

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