Putin ships off Fehmarn: Why Germany can’t do anything about it

Russian warships have repeatedly passed the Fehmarnbelt in the Baltic Sea – a strait between Germany and Denmark – in recent months. Now Russian President Vladimir Putin has again allowed a ship to sail through the waters: the Russian nuclear icebreaker “Ural” passed the German island of Fehmarn on Saturday. The “Ural” was escorted according to “Picture“-Newspaper from German police ships.

Even if there have been no incidents on the trips so far: local residents and holidaymakers are irritated, if not unsettled, about what is happening off the German Baltic Sea coast.

Naval Parade in St. Petersburg

The Fehmarnbelt lies on one of the few routes between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and is important for Russia to connect St. Petersburg with the world’s oceans. Against this background, the naval parade was recently held in St. Petersburg, in which, according to the Russian state news agency TASS, 45 combat ships, gunboats and submarines of the North, Pacific, Baltic and Black Sea fleets took part. In addition, 3000 soldiers are said to have been involved in the display of the Russian Navy.

On July 9, another warship was sighted off Fehmarn: the Russian special ship Severomorsk. The “Severomorsk” specializes in fighting enemy submarines and has been in service since 1987. According to information from theKiel news“The ship was accompanied by a unit of the Federal Police on water and a helicopter of the German Navy from the air during the passage.

Warships do not have to register beforehand

The federal police emphasized to “t-online“That since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the surveillance of Russian naval units had been intensified due to the changed security situation in Europe. Passages by naval units from partner states of the Russian Federation would also be registered.

However, the scope for action of the German authorities is limited in this situation, because Germany or other countries cannot prevent the passage. As the naval command in Rostock informed “t-online”, the Fehmarnbelt is an international body of water that can be passed by any ship, including warships, without prior notification. There have been no incidents since the beginning of the war, and there is generally no contact between NATO units and Russian naval units.

Nothing to worry about

However, the Russian warships off the German coast are no cause for alarm. According to statements by the German Navy and the Federal Police to “t-online”, there is no reason for holidaymakers and coastal residents to worry. “There is no saber rattling,” assured the naval command. Rather, the behavior of the Russian units is normal, according to the naval command.

The regular movements of Russian naval units in the Baltic Sea therefore do not pose an immediate threat, despite their proximity to Germany.

Hank Peter

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