NewsRussia plans unilateral shift of Baltic Sea borders with Lithuania, Finland

Russia plans unilateral shift of Baltic Sea borders with Lithuania, Finland

Navy Day in Russia. Parade on the Baltic
Navy Day in Russia. Parade on the Baltic
Images source: © East News | AP

6:53 AM EDT, May 24, 2024

The Moscow Times reports that the Russian authorities aim to unilaterally change the country's maritime borders with Lithuania and Finland in the Baltic Sea, citing a draft resolution by the Russian government.

According to the document prepared by the Ministry of Defense, Russia intends to recognize parts of the water area in the eastern Gulf of Finland and near Baltiysk and Zelenogradsk in the Kaliningrad region as internal waters.

Russians want to revise Baltic borders

To this end, the geographic coordinates of the points defining the locations of the baseline from which the width of the Russian Federation's territorial sea is measured will be changed.

On the border with Finland, the Russian government intends to correct the coordinates in the area of the Jähi, Sommers, Holland, Rodsher, Maly Tyuters, and Vigrund islands, as well as near the northern cape of the Narva River entrance.

On the border with Lithuania, the changes are to cover the area of the Curonian Spit in the Gulf of Gdańsk, Cape Taran, and the Baltic Spit.

Russians want to change Baltic borders

The current geographic coordinates, established by the Council of Ministers of the USSR in 1985, "do not fully correspond to the current geographic situation," claim the project's authors. The points were recorded "using small-scale marine navigation charts," based on mid-20th-century work that "does not allow for the definition of the outer boundary of the internal waters area," the document states.

As a result, new straight baseline systems will be created in the southern part of the Russian islands in the eastern Gulf of Finland and around Baltiysk and Zelenogradsk, forming water areas intended to be designated as "internal waters of the Russian Federation." "The crossing of the state border of the Russian Federation at sea will change due to the change in the location of the external boundary of the territorial sea," explains the project's authors.

The 40-year-old resolution of the Council of Ministers of the USSR that regulates the borders in the Baltic Sea is proposed to be partially deemed "outdated" by the Ministry of Defense.

Finland and Lithuania's Ministries of Foreign Affairs have not officially commented on the border revision document.

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