printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

12957 Russian Federation - Agreement Amending the Agreement of May 25, 1972, on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas


   
Share

TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ACTS SERIES 12957

 

 

MARITIME MATTERS

Incidents

 

 


Agreement Between the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
and RUSSIAN FEDERATION


Amending the Agreement of May 25, 1972

Effected by Exchange of Notes
Dated at Moscow
October 12, 1997 and May 28, 1998

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Pursuant to Public Law 89—497, approved July 8, 1966
(80 Stat. 271; 1 U.S.C. 113)—

“. . .the Treaties and Other International Acts Series issued
under the authority of the Secretary of State shall be competent
evidence . . . of the treaties, international agreements other than
treaties, and proclamations by the President of such treaties and
international agreements other than treaties, as the case may be,
therein contained, in all the courts of law and equity and of maritime
jurisdiction, and in all the tribunals and public offices of the
United States, and of the several States, without any further proof
or authentication thereof.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Maritime Matters: Incidents


Agreement amending the agreement of May 25, 1972.
Effected by exchange of notes
Dated at Moscow October 12, 1997 and May 28, 1998;
Entered into force May 28, 1998.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE
OFFICE OF LANGUAGE SERVICES
Translating Division
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
No. 4829/DSA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation presents its compliments
to the Embassy of the United States of America and, referring to the arrangements that
have taken effect during the past 25 years within the framework of the Agreement
between the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Government of
the United States of America on the Prevention of Incidents on and over the High Seas
signed on May 25, 1972, hereinafter referred to as the 1972 Agreement, has the honor to
report that the Government of the Russian Federation, wishing to ensure a higher level of
safety for the navigation of its vessels and the flights of its aircraft outside the boundaries
of territorial waters, proposes the following amendments and supplements to the 1972
Agreement:
1) throughout the text, the words "high seas" should be replaced with the words
"waters outside the limits of the territorial sea";
2) Paragraph I(1) shall be worded as follows:
"1. "Ship" shall mean:
a) a warship belonging to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation or the Armed
Forces of the United States of America bearing the external marks distinguishing warships
of its nationality, under the command of an officer duly commissioned by the government
-2-
service of the respective Party, and whose name appears in the appropriate service list or
an equivalent document, and is manned by a crew subject to regular military discipline;
b) an auxiliary vessel belonging to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation or
the Armed Forces of the United States of America and authorized to fly the naval auxiliary
flag where such a flag has been established by the respective Party";
3) Article I should be supplemented with paragraphs 4 and 5, which read as follows:
"4. Non-naval vessel" shall mean all vessels not included in Para. 1 of this article.
5. "Non-naval aircraft" means all flying craft not included in Para. 2 of this article,
except for spacecraft";
4) Article II should be worded as follows:
"Article II
The Parties shall take measures to ensure strict compliance by the commanders of
their ships with the letter and spirit of the International Regulations for Preventing
Collision of Vessels at Sea adopted in 1972 (COLREGS-72).
The Parties also recognize that the basis of freedom of navigation and flights
outside the limits of territorial waters is the principles and norms recognized by
international law and reflected, in particular, in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the
Sea";
5) Article III(6) should read as follows:
"6. Ships of the Parties shall not:
- simulate attacks by aiming guns, missile launchers, torpedo tubes, and other
weapons in the direction of the other Party's ships or aircraft;
-3-
- eject any objects or launch signal rockets in the direction of the other Party's ships
or aircraft in such a manner as to possibly endanger these ships or aircraft or hamper
navigation or flights;
- use searchlights or other powerful illumination devices to illuminate the
navigation bridges of ships or the cabins of aircraft in flight of the other Party;
- - use lasers in such a manner as to possibly impair the health of crew members or
damage the equipment aboard a ship or aircraft of the other Party;
- deliberately interfere with the communications systems of the other Party's ships
and aircraft.
Nor shall the ships of the Parties take such actions against non-naval vessels and
non-military aircraft of the other Parties";
6) Article IV should be worded as follows:
"Article IV
The commanders of aircraft of each of the Parties shall exercise maximum caution
and prudence in approaching the other Party's vessels and aircraft, especially vessels
engaged in launching or landing aircraft, and in the interest of mutual safety shall not:
- simulate attacks or the use of weapons against the other Party's ships and aircraft;
- drop any objects or launch signal rockets in the direction of the other Party's ships
and aircraft in such a manner as to possibly endanger these ships or aircraft or hamper
navigation or flights;
- direct searchlights or other powerful illumination devices
toward the other Party's vessels and aircraft;
- perform aerobatics above the ships and[or] in the immediate vicinity of aircraft of
the other Party;
-4-
- use lasers in such a manner as to possibly impair the health of crew members or
damage equipment aboard a ship or aircraft of the other Party;
- deliberately interfere with the communications systems of the other Party's ships
and aircraft.
Nor shall the Parties' aircraft take such actions against non-naval vessels and[or]
non-military aircraft of the other Party";
7) Article VI should be supplemented with paragraphs 4 and 5, which shall read as
follows:
"4. Take necessary measures to ensure that the commanders of ships and aircraft of
each of the Parties exercise maximum caution in areas where the activities of the other
Party's ships and aircraft have been reported to them in accordance with paragraph 1 of
this article, and that they refrain as much as possible from interfering with these activities.
5. Take measures to notify non-naval ships and non-military aircraft of each of the
Parties of the provisions of the 1972 Convention that are directed at ensuring mutual
safety."
If the foregoing supplements and amendments are acceptable to the Government of
the United States of America, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has
the further honor to propose that this note and the U.S. side's reply thereto regarding the
acceptability of the supplements to the 1972 Agreement contained in this note shall
constitute an Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the
Government of the United States of America.
-5-
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation takes this opportunity to
renew to the Embassy of the United States of America the assurances of its high
consideration.
Moscow
October 12, 1997
/Stamp: Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation/
EMBASSY OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
MFA/064/98
The Embassy of the United States of America presents
its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Russian Federation and has the honor to refer to the
Ministry's Diplomatic Note Number 4829/DSA of October 12,
1997, which reads as follows:
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian
Federation presents its compliments to the Embassy
of the United States of America and, referring to
the arrangements that have taken effect during the
past 25 years within the framework of the Agreement
between the Government of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics and the Government of the United
States of America on the Prevention of Incidents On
and Over the High Seas signed on May 25, 1972,
hereinafter referred to as the 1972 Agreement, has
the honor to report that the Government of the
Russian Federation, wishing to ensure a higher level
of safety for the navigation of its vessels and the
flights of its aircraft outside the boundaries of
territorial waters, proposes the following
amendments and supplements to the 1972 Agreement:
1) Throughout the text, the words "high seas"
should be replaced with the words "waters outside
the limits of the territorial sea";
2) Paragraph 1, Article I shall be worded as
follows:
"1. "Ship" shall mean:
(a) A warship belonging to the Armed Forces of
the Russian Federation or the Armed Forces of the
United States of America bearing the external marks
distinguishing warships of its nationality, under
the command of an officer duly commissioned by the
government of the respective Party and whose name
appears in the appropriate service list or an
equivalent document, and is manned by a crew subject
to regular military discipline;
(b) An auxiliary vessel belonging to the Armed
Forces of the Russian Federation or the Armed Forces
of the United States of America and authorized to
fly the naval auxiliary flag where such a flag has
been established by the respective party";
3) Article I should be supplemented with
Paragraphs 4 and 5, which read as follows:
"4. "Non-naval vessel" shall mean all vessels
not included in Paragraph 1 of this Article.
2
5. "Non-naval aircraft" shall mean all flying
craft not included in Paragraph 2 of this Article,
except for spacecraft";
4) Article II should be worded as follows:
"Article II
The Parties shall take measures to ensure
strict compliance by the commanders of their ships
with the letter and spirit of the International
Regulations for Preventing Collision of Vessels at
Sea adopted in 1972 (COLREGS-72).
The Parties also recognize that the basis of
freedom of navigation and flights outside the limits
of territorial waters is the principles and norms
recognized by international law and reflected, in
particular, in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of
the Sea";
5) Paragraph 6, Article III should be worded
as follows:
"6. Ships of the Parties shall not:
simulate attacks by aiming guns, missile
launchers, torpedo tubes, and other weapons in the
direction of the other Party's ships or aircraft;
eject any objects or launch signal rockets in
the direction of the other Party's ships or aircraft
in such a manner as to possibly endanger these ships
or aircraft or hamper navigation or flights;
3
use searchlights or other powerful illumination
devices to illuminate the navigation bridges of
ships or the cabins of aircraft in flight of the
other Party;
use lasers in such a manner as to possibly
impair the health of crew members or damage the
equipment aboard a ship or aircraft of the other
Party;
deliberately interfere with the communications
systems of the other Party's ships and aircraft.
Nor shall the ships of the Parties take such
actions against non-naval vessels and non-military
aircraft of the other Party";
6) Article IV should be worded as follows:
"Article IV
The commanders of aircraft of each of the
Parties shall exercise maximum caution and prudence
in approaching the other Party's vessels and
aircraft, especially vessels engaged in launching or
landing aircraft, and in the interest of mutual
safety shall not:
simulate attacks or the use of weapons against
the other Party's ships and aircraft;
drop any objects or launch signal rockets in
the direction of the other Party's ships and
aircraft in such a manner as to possibly endanger
4
these ships or aircraft or hamper navigation or
flights;
direct searchlights or other powerful
illumination devices toward the other Party's
vessels and aircraft;
perform aerobatics above the ships and or in
the immediate vicinity of aircraft of the other
party;
use lasers in such a manner as to possibly
impair the health of crew members or damage
equipment aboard a ship or aircraft of the other
Party;
deliberately interfere with the communications
systems of the other Party's ships and aircraft.
Nor shall the aircraft of the Parties take such
actions against non-naval vessels and non-military
aircraft of the other Party";
7) Article VI should be supplemented with
Paragraphs 4 and 5, which shall read as follows:
"4. Take necessary measures to ensure that the
commanders of ships and aircraft of each of the
Parties exercise maximum caution in areas where the
activities of the other Party's ships and aircraft
have been reported to them in accordance with
Paragraph 1 of this Article, and that they refrain
as much as possible from interfering with these
activities.
5
5. Take measures to notify non-naval ships and
non-military aircraft of each of the Parties of the
provisions of the 1972 Agreement that are directed
at ensuring mutual safety."
If the foregoing supplements and amendments are
acceptable to the Government of the United States of
America, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
Russian Federation has the further honor to propose
that this note and the U.S. Party's reply thereto
regarding the acceptability of the supplements to
the 1972 Agreement contained in this note shall
constitute an Agreement between the Government of
the Russian Federation and the Government of the
United States of America.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian
Federation takes this opportunity to renew to the
Embassy of the United States of America the
assurances of its high consideration."
The Embassy has the honor to inform the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs that the proposal contained in the
Ministry's note is acceptable to the Government of the
United States of America and that the Ministry's note of
October 12, 1997 and this note in reply shall constitute
an Agreement between the two governments, which will
enter into force on the date of this note.
6
The Embassy of the United States of America would
like to avail itself of this opportunity to extend to the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
renewed assurances of its highest consideration.
7
Embassy of the United States of America
Moscow, May 28, 1998

 



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.