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  Ilja Gromov. Security on the Baltics will be strengthened

2009 03 17

The concept of the project “The Sea Surveillance Co-operation Baltic Sea” (SUCBAS) was presented on 11 March at the Embassy of Finland. The aim of the project is to exchange information for strengthening security in the region.

On 4 March six of the ten countries of the Baltic Sea region have signed a Letter of Intent on creating a single information network for exchanging data on all issues related to the Baltic Sea Region. The outcome of such cooperation should be the strengthening of security in the region, in particular in the case of emergencies at sea, border control, crime prevention and protection of the environment.

“We should understand that actually any threat in the region of the Baltic Sea is related not only with the territorial waters of any of the respective states, but it concerns all of them. Measures for ensuring security require identification of the threat and its locality. Further the necessary information shall be forwarded to the respective party for minimizing the threat or for the prevention of incidents", said Veli Juuka Pennala, the Chairman of the Marine Forces of Finland.

So far, he stated, it is planned to exchange information on what is going on the surface of the sea, giving particular attention to the traffic of vessels, and each country may inform partners at its own discretion on what is happening "under the surface" of the Baltic Sea.

According to the words of Pennala, preliminary in summer 2009 following the signing of all agreements, the new system will start operating in the piloting regime, and in the middle of 2010 cooperation between the participants of the project in the sphere of information will start in full capacity. For the moment, he noted, the Letter of Intent was signed by Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden. Interest to the launched project (the document of which has not been signed yet), was expressed by Latvia, Norway and Poland. In response to the question about the participation in project of the Russian party, Pennala noted: “Invitation was extended to Russia to participate in the seminar on this particular topic, however, no feedback was received”. Hereafter negotiations with all interested countries shall be carried out, noted the initiators of the project.

Material has been prepared by the Centre of Geopolitical Studies with reference to the article from “Molodioz Estonii“ of 12 March 2009.

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