Russian warships have disrupted commercial shipping in the Lithuanian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) by ordering ships to alter their courses because of naval exercises, the Lithuanian Ministry of Defence said.
On October 10, Lithuanian Navy Control Centre recorded warships of the Russian Federation indicate six civilian ships in the Lithuanian EEZ to alter their route because of naval exercises in the Russian EEZ.
Lithuanian Navy ship Dzūkas (P12) was dispatched in response to the situation to patrol Lithuania’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone and to record potential violations of civilian shipping that warships of the Russian Federation could commit.
According to the Lithuanian ministry, the ship detected and visually identified two Russian warships in the Lithuanian exclusive economic zone and gave a warning via radio contact on their actions in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Lithuania.
In the evening of October 10 LNS Dzūkas detected that the Russian warships retired from the exclusive economic zone of Lithuania to the exclusive economic zone of Russia.
It is the third time this year that Russian Navy ships direct civilian ships in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Lithuania away from their routes because of naval drills in the exclusive economic zone of Russia. The Lithuanian Armed Forces recorded five such cases in 2015.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Defence said such activities of the Russian Federation violate the Convention on the Law of the Sea and principle of good neighbourliness.