Russia moves to extend its maritime borders, angering Baltic Sea nations

Russia unveiled a bill on Tuesday that would redefine its maritime borders in the Baltic Sea, causing an outcry among Baltic and other northern European countries and fueling geopolitical tensions.

According to a draft Russian defence ministry resolution published on Tuesday, Moscow plans to extend its territorial waters by changing its maritime borders with Finland and Lithuania in the Baltic Sea from January 2025. The redefined coordinates would see Moscow declaring Finnish and Lithuanian areas of the sea as Russian.

“This is an obvious escalation of tensions against NATO and the European Union that requires an appropriate firm response,” wrote Lithuania's foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, on X.

“Russia cannot unilaterally change its borders in this way,” Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told the TT news agency this week. Estonia and Finland echoed these sentiments.

“It is these words that are interpreted differently by Russia and Western countries,” says Thévenin.

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