Russia seeks to expand Baltic Sea borders near Lithuania and Finland; Both countries react

Russia wants to expand its borders in the Baltic Sea
Russia wants to expand its borders in the Baltic Sea

The Russian Defense Ministry has proposed expanding Russia's territorial waters in the Baltic Sea, near the borders of Lithuania and Finland, Moscow Times reported on May 21, citing a draft resolution of the Russian government.

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According to the document, Russia intends to declare part of the waters in the east of Gulf of Finland, as well as near the cities of Baltiysk and Zelenogradsk in Kaliningrad Oblast, as its internal sea waters.

On the border with Finland, the Russian government intends to adjust coordinates in the area of islands of Jähi, Sommers, Holland, Rodscher, Maly Tüters, Vigrund, and near northern entrance cape of Narva River.

On border with Lithuania, in area of Curonian Spit, Cape Taran, area south of Cape Taran, and the Baltic Spit may be reviewed.

Russian officials stated that coordinates, which were established in 1985, allegedly “do not fully correspond to current geographical situation.”

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For its part, Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already responded to the initiative, calling it a deliberate, purposeful, escalating provocation to intimidate neighboring countries. Lithuania believes this is further evidence that Russia threatens the security of the entire Europe.

Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen noted that her ministry is clarifying the details reported by media. According to her, UN Convention on Law of the Sea contains provisions on definition of maritime zones of coastal states, including their revision.

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