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Lithuania Protests Russia's Disruptive Naval Activities

by VOA News April 30, 2015

Lithuania sent a protest note to Russia Thursday for repeated naval activities in its exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea.

The foreign ministry of the Baltic state summoned the Russian ambassador in Vilnius to deliver the protest accusing the Kremlin's warships of disrupting peaceful shipping and economic activity of the country.

Similar incidents have occurred on March 19, April 10 and April 24, for which Lithuania sent protest notes to Russia's foreign ministry, but did not receive any response.

Russian authorities have never asked Lithuanian institutions or received any prior authorization for such activities in the exclusive economic zone of Lithuania, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

In the note, Lithuania demands that Russia ceases interfering with international shipping and economic activities in the exclusive economic zone of Lithuania, and comply with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that prescribes sovereign rights of coastal states in their exclusive economic zones.

Lithuania coordinates its activities with Sweden and claims the Russian Navy is attempting 'to interfere with the construction work of the sea cable 'NordBalt.' '

The 400-kilometer underwater cable link is expected to bring the Baltic EU states into the energy grid of their Nordic partners, intended to reduce the dependency on Russian supplies.

The link is estimated to cost $615 million and stretch from the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda to Nybro in Sweden.

The operation is scheduled to start in December 2015.

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