The expert called the pitfalls of the new rules for the passage of foreign ships along the Northern Sea Route

Russia will not be able to let ships of unfriendly countries through

The new rules proposed by the Russian military department for the passage of foreign ships along the Northern Sea Route will be more stringent, especially for unfriendly states. This is the opinion of a military expert, captain 1st rank in the reserve Vladimir Gundarov.


Earlier it was reported that the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation proposed amendments to the federal law “On Internal Sea Waters”, which relate to the Northern Sea Route. This route along the northern Russian seas allows ten days to reduce the passage of ships with cargo from Asia to Europe compared to the route through the Suez Canal.

The proposed military rules, which have been approved by other law enforcement agencies, including the FSB with the border service, will limit the access of foreign ships. The new requirements are explained by the growth in maritime traffic and the intensification of naval activities in the Arctic. But, according to the captain of the 1st rank in the reserve Vladimir Gundarov, the new rules also have a military-political background.

– The current procedure for the passage of ships and vessels of foreign states along the Northern Sea Route, – Gundarov told MK, – was adopted during the time of President Boris Yeltsin, who called American President Clinton “my friend Bill.” Now the situation, as you know, is completely different. The United States and a number of other states have been officially declared hostile to us. And, therefore, we cannot have obligations to everyone to let their ships and ships through the Northern Sea Route without hindrance.

The measures proposed by the Ministry of Defense, approved by all law enforcement agencies, are aimed at actually stopping the passage of ships and vessels of unfriendly countries along the Northern Sea Route. The current procedure allows the simultaneous passage of up to three warships along the Northern Sea Route with a preliminary application 45 days in advance. Now it is proposed to allow the passage of only one ship with the official filing of an application with the Russian Foreign Ministry in 90 days.

That is, you must submit an application at least three months in advance. Moreover, the Russian authorities can consider it and reject it for objective reasons. For example, they will say that at this moment in these latitudes there will be no proper navigation support, due to the fact that the GLONASS satellites will not be located in the same way, and therefore passage along the Northern Sea Route during this period will be impossible.

Or they will say, that, since our friendly China has already applied for a ship to pass through the Northern Sea Route, we cannot allow another country to send a warship there, since the new order allows only one ship to pass.

In other words, one can find a thousand legitimate reasons to prohibit the passage of an unwanted ship along our Northern Sea Route. Especially when it comes to ships and vessels of unfriendly countries. By the way, this applies not only to warships, but also to civilian ships. The Northern Sea Route is historically considered completely ours and remains so.

There are other important innovations. For example, now only with the presence of a Russian pilot, a foreign warship will be able to pass along the Northern Sea Route.

Among the legal innovations in the new proposal of the Ministry of Defense, there is such a provision: the Northern Sea Route crosses Russian internal waters. This is the first introduction into the legal circulation of a new concept of inland waters, which are located in maritime territorial waters. Rivers and lakes have always been considered inland waters. Now it turns out that some of the Arctic seas surrounding the Russian Federation are also inland waters, or at least intersect with them. And this is not a 12-mile zone around the islands, which is called territorial waters. Perhaps we are talking about the fact that where, for example, the Lena or Yenisei rivers flow into the sea, their mouths are connected to the territorial waters and the Northern Sea Route.


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