This is the eleventh agreement concluded since the second half of the 1990s in the southeastern Baltic Sea which is directly related to the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. It is only the second agreement, however, belonging to this fourth chronological group of efforts to delimit the international maritime boundaries in the Baltic Sea, which is in its entirety governed by the delicate matter of the exact legal value to be attributed to the maritime boundary agreements concluded by the Soviet Union in the area before its dissolution in 1991. The other such agreement is the agreement concluded between Estonia and Sweden more than a decade earlier. Both agreements, as predicted, are very similar in nature as they are governed by the same underlying considerations, i.e. the legal status to be attributed to the maritime boundary agreements concluded by the Soviet Union in the area before its dissolution in 1991. All the other agreements so far concluded during this fourth chronological group either create an entirely new maritime boundary line were none had existed before, or at least also added a segment, no matter how short, that had not yet been delimited before.
The agreement establishes a single maritime boundary, dividing the continental shelf and exclusive economic zones (EEZ) between the parties. The boundary extends for a distance of about 8 nautical miles (M) and consists of four turning points, of which one is also a definitive terminal point. The northern terminal point, on the other hand, stops just short of the hypothetical tripoint that will have to be settled by means of direct negotiations between all the parties concerned, including Latvia.
The coasts of both countries in the area are opposite. They are characterized by the presence of the island of Öland and Gotland in front of the Swedish coast and by the small, but extended Kursiu promontory in front of the Lithuania, screening about half of its coastline. This promontory encloses the Kursiu lagoon, which has only one natural outlet to the sea at the north in front of the port of Klaipeda. The coastline of Lithuania is outspokenly concave in nature.
Since this boundary corresponds in its entirety to the boundary line previously established between Sweden and the former Soviet Union (see infra, Part II.1 Political, Strategic, and Historical Considerations), this report should be read together with the agreement concluded in 1988 between Sweden and the Soviet Union (Sweden-Soviet Union (1988), No. 10-9), to which it is closely linked. It has also to be related to the tripoint agreement between Lithuania, Russia, and Sweden (Lithuania-Russia-Sweden (2005), No. 10-23).
This line, as a result, is difficult to explain because it relies on a boundary line that itself was arrived at as the result of a political compromise (see Sweden-Soviet Union (1988), No. 10 9, Part II.8 Method of Delimitation Considerations).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Maritime Boundaries
EditorsCoalter G. Lapthrop
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill | Nijhoff
Pages5743-5760
Number of pages18
Volume8
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-31555-6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • Law of the Sea, Maritime Delimitation

ID: 52536024