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Russia may withdraw from the Convention on the Law of the Sea

Russia is considering withdrawing from the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention, which defines a 12-mile zone of territorial waters where a state has the power to set its own laws. The reason for this is the protection of Russian interests in the Arctic and the current international situation. Russia joined the convention in 1997, thereby allowing foreign ships, submarines and aircraft to remain in the Arctic outside the 12-mile zone without notification or permission.

Western countries, especially the United States, are seeking to declare the Northern Sea Route international, given its importance for the passage of ships from Asia to Europe. Since 2012, Russia has secured the status of the Northern Sea Route as an inland transport artery, but the United States does not agree with this.

As Vice Admiral Anatoly Shevchenko, Advisor to the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy for Arctic Affairs, noted, it is necessary to discuss the issue of withdrawal from the convention, since the Northern Sea Route is an internal transport artery of Russia.

“Until the Americans came up with this 1982 convention, the entire Arctic was divided into sectors. There are only five Arctic states: Russia, Denmark, Norway, Canada, USA. But the Americans were not happy with this; it turned out that Russia had more than 60% of the Arctic coast, and they only had 7%. They came up with this convention, we foolishly ratified it, and got into trouble. Of course, we must raise the question of whether we are withdrawing from the convention, because the Northern Sea Route is our internal transport artery.”, said Advisor to the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy for Arctic Affairs, Vice Admiral Anatoly Shevchenko.

State Duma deputy Nikolai Novichkov said that the relevant parliamentary committees will soon discuss the issue of denunciation of the convention and put it on the agenda.

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