Does Russia want to redefine Baltic Sea borders?

A mysterious Russian government proposal has caused a stir. Published on an official Russian portal on Tuesday, it has now been deleted but involved a revision of the "geographical coordinates" defining Russia's borders in various areas of the Baltic Sea which - according to the draft - are inaccurate. Commentators are at odds over the seriousness of the incident.

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Krym.Realii (UA) /

A fine line between hybrid and real war

The situation is fraught with danger, Krym.Realii stresses:

“Changing the borders in the Baltic Sea would basically be a continuation of the policy of using migrants to destabilise the land borders. ... Why not check now how Finland and Lithuania would react to a shift in maritime borders? This is a very dangerous path - a fine line that separates 'hybrid war' from the real thing. But Russia is deliberately taking this path and counting on Western countries being afraid of an open conflict. ... But our experience with Ukraine proves that Russian aggression never ends with 'hybrid warfare' and maritime borders.”

Postimees (EE) /

The Baltic will never be a Nato inland sea!

Postimees says it's clear what Russia is up to:

“Russia is, of course, not referring to a change in the geographical position or the shifting of continental plates, which inevitably reshapes natural borders over millions of years. What Russia is referring to is geopolitics and a return to long-established international spheres of influence and interest, or at least a shift from international law to the spheres of influence it wants for itself. We are expanding in the Baltic Sea - don't even think that this could become Nato's inland sea!”

Aamulehti (FI) /

Keep a cool head

Aamulehti warns against hasty reactions:

“It's more important to look behind the media circus and try to determine Russia's true intentions. This is not the first time that Russia has tried to redraw the borders on the map. Of course, a unilateral declaration of border changes must always be taken seriously, but in the worst case a hasty reaction could play right into Russia's hands. Finland, Lithuania and Nato must now stand together, cautiously but resolutely, without fuelling rumours. There is no leeway for solo manoeuvres and conspiracy theories.”