Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday that it had sent a note of protest to the Russian Embassy in Lithuania over the repeated impediment of navigation of ships in Lithuania's exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea.
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

In the note, Lithuania expresses protest over the September 15 recurring "obstruction by the naval forces of the Russian Federation of the freedom of navigation," the ministry said.

According to the press release, "similar incidents had been reported not for the first time," and the ministry urged Russia's relevant institutions "to ensure that peaceful shipping and legitimate economic activities in the Baltic Sea would not be hindered in the future."

Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence said that a Russian warship on Tuesday had instructed a Lithuanian civilian vessel to change course in the wake of Russian manoeuvres in the Baltic Sea.

In response to the situation, Aukštaitis patrol boat of the Lithuanian Navy was dispatched to monitor further conduct of the Russian warships, detecting three ships of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Federation in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Lithuania.

Last time civilian vessels sailing in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Lithuania were directed away from their route because of a missile exercise in the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation on September 3.

The Defence Ministry said foreign ships, including military, are allowed to transit Lithuania's exclusive economic zone and territorial waters of the Baltic Sea, if they respect rights of and obligations to the coastal country and do not interfere with its exclusive rights in the exclusive economic zone.

BNS
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