Russia’s recent naval activity around Ukraine and the Baltic Sea is more than simply a threat to countries in the region. In fact, it represents a challenge to the international order, one that could be replicated by other rogue nations.
Since invading Ukraine in 2014, Moscow has become significantly bolder. Russia has expanded into Ukraine’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the body of water up to 200 miles from the country’s coast that is internationally recognized as its legal territory. Moscow has restricted the dimensions of vessels that can pass through the Kerch Bridge overlooking the Sea of Azov in an attempt to curtail Ukrainian commercial traffic. Russia has also unlawfully seized eight maritime gas fields in the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea belonging to Ukraine. And it illegally extracted an estimated 7.2 billion cubic meters of gas from those fields.