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Russia creates confusion with proposal to change Baltic Sea border

A proposal by the Russian Ministry of Defense to revise Russia's maritime border in the eastern Baltic Sea generated confusion and concern this Wednesday (22) in NATO members Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Estonia.

A draft Ministry of Defense decree dated May 21, published on an official Russian portal, proposed adjusting the border around the Russian islands in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland and around Kaliningrad.

Russia's three main news agencies later reported, citing an unnamed Russian source, that Russia had no plans to change the border.

The Kremlin said there was nothing political in the Defense Ministry's proposal, but that Russia had to guarantee its security.

In an official presentation, the Defense Ministry said a 1985 Soviet measurement of the border used nautical charts from the mid-20th century and therefore did not fully correspond to more modern cartographic coordinates.

“There is nothing political here, although the political situation has changed significantly since then (1985),” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“You can see the level of confrontation, especially in the Baltic region.”

He suggested contacting the Ministry of Defense, which did not respond to a request for comment.

The draft decree did not make clear exactly how the border would be adjusted and whether there was any consultation with other states adjacent to the Baltic Sea.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson told the TT news agency: “Russia cannot unilaterally decide on new borders.”

Finnish President Alexander Stubb declared that Russia had not been in contact, adding: “Finland acts as always: calmly and based on facts.”

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis called the proposal an “obvious escalation” against the US-led NATO military alliance and the European Union. He said it “must be met with a suitably firm response.”

Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said: “At first glance, it appears to be an absurd notion.”

In an emailed comment to Reuters, he added: “It cannot be ruled out that the report is an attempt to sow confusion.”

Source: CNN Brasil

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