Legality of Foreign Military Activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone: Lessons from the 2020 Bering Sea Incident

Medy Dervovic, Pavel Tkach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


In a changing era deeply impacted by climate change, navigational, economic, and military activities are rapidly emerging in the Arctic. To avoid recreating conflicts involving competing uses of the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), this chapter endeavors to analyze factually and legally Russian military maneuvers performed in the Bering Sea under the Ocean Shield 2020 exercises. In particular, the focus is placed on the incident between US-flagged fishing vessels and Russian military vessels and aircraft in the border area of the Russian and the US EEZs. While the legality of foreign military activities in the EEZ is subject to certain conditions in the international law of the sea, this chapter concludes that circumstantial elements related to prior notification through appropriate communication channels and the establishment of maritime exclusion/safety zones influence the aforementioned legality in practice. Eventually, lessons drawn from the analysis of this incident shall guide the shaping of safety and security dimensions of Arctic governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSecurity and Technology in Arctic Governance
EditorsStefan Kirchner
PublisherLit verlag
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-643-96481-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-643-91481-1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoEC publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • military activities
  • Exclusive economic zone
  • Law of the sea
  • Bering Sea
  • Arctic governance

Field of science

  • Law


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