“A threat to European security”: Russia reveals its plans in a document and causes concern

Russian activities are “deliberate and increasing provocations aimed at intimidating neighboring countries”, reacted the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It demands explanations. “This is further proof that Russia’s revisionist policies pose a threat to the security of its neighbors and Europe.”

Russia does not specify exactly what points it wants to change, but the measure would have consequences for both the continent and the islands in the Baltic Sea. The Gulf of Finland and the border region near Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland, are particularly targeted.

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Finnish Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen points out that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea determines how coastal states can define their maritime zones. Russia, as a signatory to the text, must comply with it. “Sowing confusion is part (of Russian strategy). Finland will not let itself be confused,” she warns.

Russia’s public consultation lasts until June 4. The proposal advances January 2025 as the effective date for the changes. In an explanatory note, the Ministry of Defense claims to be following up on a 2019 government decision aimed at developing Russian maritime activities by 2030.

The ministry argues that the changes are necessary, arguing that current measurement points do not allow Russia to determine the boundaries of its territorial waters. “And they don’t fully reflect the current geographic situation.”

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