Icebreaking services agreement into force
An agreement between Finland and Russia on cooperation in icebreaking services will enter into force on 15 January 2016. The Finnish Government issued a decree on enforcing the agreement on 30 December 2015.
With the agreement Finland and Russia commit themselves to promoting cooperation in icebreaking services in the Baltic Sea. The agreement allows Finland and Russia an opportunity to request for and quickly receive icebreaking assistance in situations where the country's own icebreaking capacity alone is insufficient.
In accordance with the agreement Finnish icebreakers may operate in the eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland in the territorial waters of Russia in return for compensation. Reciprocally, Russian icebreakers may assist vessels operating to Finnish ports in the Gulf of Finland. The use of Russian icebreakers is always based on means testing. Operations in the territorial waters are at all times subject to a permit from the authorities.
Flexibility in the use of the icebreaking capacity will improve the safety of winter navigation and make it more efficient in the eastern Gulf of Finland in winters with severe ice conditions.
Ms Marjukka Vihavainen-Pitkänen, tel. +358 295 34 2685, email@example.com