What is Russia trying to tell? Second maritime artillery shooting in June next to Norway border, thebarentsobserver.com

Thomas Nilsen

Russia has again issued warnings to both seafarers and pilots to stay away from a large area just east of Grense Jakobselv and the maritime delimitation border between the two countries in the Varanger fjord.

“This is a somewhat unusual location for a Russian NOTAM,” says Kristian Åtland, an expert on Russian military with the Norwegian Research Defence Establishment (FFI). He has for years studied how the Northern Fleet uses military NOTAM-warnings (Notice to Airmen) as a signaling tool to neighboring countries.

The area now marked for artillery shooting is exactly similar to the one from June 1 and 2.

“The Northern Fleet’s training activities usually take place further east, typically east of the Rybachy Peninsula, and often further from the shoreline. This is pretty close to the shore and not far from the maritime border between Norway and Russia,” says Åtland to the Barents Observer.

He underlines that Russia is not doing anything illegal. Every country has the right in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to conduct such activities in international waters. Very few, though, do so just next to the shores of a neighboring country. Unless it is aimed at sending a military signal. Läs artikel