FACT CHECK: Did Russia Lose Access To The Baltic Sea?
A video shared on Facebook claims Russia can no longer access the Baltic Sea after straits to the body of water were closed.
There is no evidence that the Baltic Sea is closed to Russian naval vessels. The Russian Navy is also conducting exercises outside the Baltic Sea.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Dec. 26 that Ukraine should fulfill Russia’s proposals or that its army would decide for the nation, according to Reuters. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on the same day that Ukraine was aiming to have a February 2023 peace summit, The Associated Press reported.
The Facebook video, viewed more than 20,000 times, claims that Russia lost access to the Baltic Sea. The video’s caption reads, “Putin is furious: Russian navy trapped! No entry to the Baltic!!”
There is, however, no evidence that Russia lost access to the Baltic Sea. If Russia had lost its access to the Baltic Sea, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. The Russian military also conducted a recent exercise in mid-December, according to Russian state media outlet Interfax.
Furthermore, a Russian naval vessel, the Admiral Golovko, is conducting factory trials in the Baltic Sea, according to Naval Technology. The Russian Navy is also conducting exercises in the Mediterranean and with the Chinese Navy, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The video itself talks about how Sweden and Finland being added to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would make the Baltic Sea a NATO lake. It does not offer evidence that NATO had closed the Baltic Sea to Russian shipping. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Volodymyr Zelenskyy Dancing With A Rocket Launcher?)
Russia did state it would move more troops to its northwest territories in response to applications from Finland and Sweden for NATO membership, according to Politico.