Archive for May, 2020

The Maritime Executive

Monday, May 25, 2020

Russia Tightens Control Over Northern Sea Route

The Kremlin has formulated new limitations for foreign warships transiting the Northern Sea Route (NSR), the Arctic route connecting the Kola Peninsula with the Bering Strait.

In a policy change first reported by Izvestia, the Russian government now intends to require foreign governments to provide 45 days of advance notice for warship voyages along the route.

In addition, it will need the name and rank of each vessel’s master, along with all ship’s particulars, and it specifies that each ship will take aboard a Russian pilot. The move follows several months after the French Navy conducted a transit of the NSR with the supply ship BSAH Rhône. 

For legal purposes, a warship on the high seas has complete immunity from the jurisdiction of any state other than its own. Within 12 nautical miles, however, warships are required to comply with all laws and rules of the coastal state when passing through the state’s territorial sea.

The extent of the coastal state’s control over military ships conducting “innocent passage” has been a matter of debate for decades. At various points, Iran, Vietnam, China, Taiwan and many others have instituted prior notification requirements for warships in specific areas.

The United States believes these restrictions are inconsistent with international law, and the U.S. Navy regularly contests them as part of its broader Freedom of Navigation Operations (FONOPS) program.

Russia and the United States were once on the same side of this debate. During the negotiations leading up to UNCLOS in the early 1980s, Soviet diplomats joined their American counterparts to block a clause that would have allowed prior notification requirements for warship transits.

For more, see https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/russia-tightens-control-over-northern-sea-route/

 

Brazil

Posted: May 25, 2020 in Covid-19, South America
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U.S. Bans Flights From Brazil

By Letícia Casado and

BRASÍLIA — The United States, citing Brazil’s surging coronavirus crisis, has banned flights from the nation, delivering a blow to its embattled leader, who has tried to use his warm relations with President Trump to bolster his political standing.

In recent weeks, coronavirus cases and deaths have exploded in Brazil, Latin America’s most populous country.

Its president, Jair Bolsonaro, a pandemic skeptic, had ignored the warnings of health experts and mocked social distancing measures. Now, Brazil has the second-highest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the world — trailing only the United States — with more than 350,000 cases and 22,700 deaths.

For complete article, see https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/24/world/americas/brazil-us-coronavirus-travel-ban.html

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Brazil faces dark week as Covid-19 toll rises

Hong Kong

Posted: May 25, 2020 in Far East
Tags: , , , ,

Hong Kong protesters have promised

a ‘miracle’ but China’s national

security law seems impossible to stop