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Russia Removes Controversial Baltic Sea Border Change Proposal from Government Website

A draft bill proposed by the Russian Ministry of Defense, that called for a unilateral change to Russia’s borders with Finland, Estonia, and Lithuania in the Baltic Sea, has been removed from the Russian government’s website.

However, an archived copy of the bill’s description, as proposed by the Defense Ministry, is still available on the website.

Earlier, The Moscow Times reported that the text of the bill, which they reviewed on May 21, proposed changes to the borders near Baltiysk, Zelenogradsk, and the eastern Gulf of Finland. These changes would have allowed Russia to claim the corresponding waters as its internal seas.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the proposal by the Ministry of Defense to change Russia’s Baltic Sea border is not politically motivated.

“There’s nothing political here, although the political situation has changed significantly since then. You see how tensions are escalating, what a level of confrontation, especially in the Baltic region. Of course, this requires our relevant departments to take appropriate steps to ensure our security,” Peskov said, according to Russian media.

Peskov suggested journalists seek comment directly from the Defense Ministry.

In response to the bill, Lithuania called the move a provocation after the news broke, and the Finnish Foreign Ministry stated that it expects Russia to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which governs changes to territorial waters.

Additionally, Sweden is securing the island with permanently stationed units and temporarily bringing additional forces there if the danger situation increases.

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