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CONVENTION RESPECTING THE NON-FORTIFICATION AND .
OF THE AALAND ISLANDS.1
Signed at Geneva, October 20, 1921; ratifications exchanged at Geneva, April 6,
1922. The President of Germany, His Majesty the King of Denmark and of Iceland, the Head of State of the Republic of Esthonia, the President of the Republic of Finland, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy, the Head of State of the Republic of Latvia, the Head of the Polish State, and His Majesty the King of Sweden, having agreed to carry out the recommendation made by the Council of the League of Nations in its resolution of the 24th June, 1921, with a view to the conclusion of a Convention between the Powers interested for the non-fortification and neutralization of the Aaland Islands, in order to guarantee that these islands shall never become a source of danger from the military point of view,
Have resolved for this purpose to carry out, without any restriction, the intention of the engagement undertaken by Russia in the Convention of the 30th March, 1856, relative to the Aaland Islands, annexed to the Treaty of Paris of the same date;
And have appointed the following as their Plenipotentiaries:
M. Oskar Trautmann, Counsellor of Legation;
Plenipotentiary at Paris; and
M. Antoine Piip, Minister for Foreign Affairs;
Ministers, Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of
THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
M. Carl Enckell, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Paris;.:
M Jean Gout, Minister Plenipotentiary of the first class;
For the British Empire:
Mr. John Duncan Gregory, C.M.G., Counsellor of Embassy, Head of
M. Arturo Ricci Busatti, Minister Plenipotentiary of the first class; For Latvia:
M. Michael Walters, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Rome;
M. Szymon Askenazy, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary, Delegate to the League of Nations;
M. Eric Birger de Trolle, Provincial Governor, formerly Minister for
Baron Erik Teodor Marks von Würtemberg, President of the Court of
Who, having deposited their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed upon the following stipulations:
Finland, confirming, to the extent requisite, in so far as she is concerned, the declaration made by Russia in the Convention of the 30th March, 1856, regarding the Aaland Islands, annexed to the Treaty of Paris of the same date, undertakes not to fortify the part of the Finnish archipelago called "the Aaland Islands."
I. The term "Aaland Islands" in the present Convention means all the islands, islets and reefs situated in the stretch of sea bounded by the following lines:
(a.) On the north by the parallel of latitude 60° 41' N.
(b.) On the east by straight lines joining successively the following geographical points:
(1.) Lat. 60° 41'.0 N. and long. 21° 00′.0 E. of Greenwich.
(8.) Lat. 60° 01'.1 N. and long. 21° 11′.3 E. of Greenwich.
(c.) On the south by the parallel of latitude 59° 27′ N.
(d.) On the west by straight lines joining successively the following geographical points:
(13.) Lat. 59° 27'.0 N. and long. 20° 09′.7 E. of Greenwich
The lines joining points 14, 15 and 16 are those fixed by the "Description topographique de la frontière entre le Royaume de Suède et l'Empire de Russie d'après la démarcation de l'année 1810, corrigée d'après la revision de 1888."
The position of all the points mentioned in this Article is that shown generally in the British Admiralty chart No. 2297, dated 1872 (corrected up to August 1921); however, for greater precision the position of points 1 to 11 is that shown in the following charts: Finnish charts No. 32, 1921, No. 29, 1920, and Russian chart No. 742, 1916 (corrected in March 1916).
A copy of each of these different charts is deposited in the archives of the permanent Secretariat of the League of Nations.
II. The territorial waters of the Aaland Islands are considered to extend to a distance of three nautical miles from the low-water mark of the islands, islets and reefs not permanently submerged, delimited above; nevertheless, these waters shall at no point extend beyond the lines fixed in paragraph I of the present Article.
III. The whole of the islands, islets and reefs delimited in paragraph I and the territorial waters defined in paragraph II constitute the "zone" to which the following Articles apply.
No military or naval establishment or base of operations, no military aeronautical establishment or base of operations, and no other installation utilized for war purposes shall be maintained or created in the zone described in Article 2.
Subject to the provisions of Article 7, no military, naval or air force of any Power shall enter or remain in the zone described in Article 2; the manu
facture, import, transport and re-export of arms and war material therein are strictly prohibited.
The following provisions shall, however, be applied in time of peace:
(a.) In addition to the regular police force necessary for the maintenance of order and public security in the zone, in conformity with the general provisions in force in the Finnish Republic, Finland may, if exceptional circumstances require, send into the zone and keep there temporarily such other armed forces as shall be strictly necessary for the maintenance of order.
(6.) Finland also reserves the right for one or two of her light surface warships to visit the islands from time to time, which can, in this case, anchor temporarily in these waters. In addition to these ships, Finland may, if specially important circumstances require, send into the waters of the zone and keep there temporarily other surface vessels, which must in no case exceed a total displacement of 6,000 tons.
The right to enter the archipelago and to anchor there temporarily can be granted by the Finnish Government to only one warship of any other Power.
(c.) Finland may fly her military or naval aircraft over the zone, but, except in cases of force majeure, landing there is prohibited.
ARTICLE 5. The prohibition to warships of entering and remaining in the zone described in Article 2 does not restrict the freedom of innocent passage through the territorial waters. Such passage shall remain subject to existing international rules and usages.
In time of war, the zone described in Article 2 shall be considered as a neutral zone and shall not, directly or indirectly, be used for any purpose connected with military operations.
Nevertheless, in the event of a war effecting the Baltic Sea, it will be permissible for Finland, in order to assure respect for the neutrality of the zone, temporarily to lay mines in its territorial waters, and for this purpose to take such measures of a maritime nature as are strictly necessary.
Finland shall at once notify such action to the Council of the League of Nations.
I. In order to render effective the guarantee provided in the preamble of the present Convention, the High Contracting Parties shall communicate, either individually or jointly, with the Council of the League of Nations, so that it may decide upon the measures to be taken either to assure the maintenance of the provisions of this Convention or to repress any violation thereof.
The High Contracting Parties undertake to assist in the measures which the Council of the League of Nations may decide upon for this purpose.
When, in fulfilment of this undertaking, the Council shall have to make a decision under the above conditions, it will summon the Powers which are parties to the present Convention, whether Members of the League or not, to attend. The vote of the representative of the Power accused of having violated the provisions of this Convention shall not be necessary to constitute the unanimity required for the Council's decision.
If unanimity cannot be obtained, each of the High Contracting Parties shall be authorized to take any measures which the Council by a two-thirds majority recommends, the vote of the representative of the Power accused of having violated the provisions of this Convention not being counted.
II. In the event of the neutrality of the zone being imperilled by a sudden attack either against the Aaland Islands or across them against the Finnish mainland, Finland shall take the necessary measures in the zone to check and repulse the aggressor until such time as the High Contracting Parties shall, in conformity with the provisions of the present Convention, be in a position to intervene to enforce respect for the neutrality of the islands.
Finland shall report the matter immediately to the Council.
ARTICLE 8. The provisions of the present Convention shall remain in force in spite of any changes that may take place in the present status quo in the Baltic Sea.
ARTICLE 9. The Council of the League of Nations is requested to bring the present Convention to the notice of the Members of the League, in order that the legal status of the Aaland Islands, an integral part of the Republic of Finland, as defined by the provisions of this Convention, may, in the interests of general peace, be respected by all as part of the actual rules of conduct among Governments.
With the unanimous consent of the High Contracting Parties, the present Convention may be submitted to any non-signatory Power whose accession may in future appear desirable, with a view to the formal adherence of such Power.
ARTICLE 10. The present Convention shall be ratified. The protocol of the first deposit of ratification shall be drawn up as soon as the majority of the signatory Powers, including Finland and Sweden, are in a position to take this step.
The Convention shall come into force for each signatory or adhering Power at the date of the deposit of its ratification or instrument of adhesion.
The deposit of ratifications shall take place at Geneva at the permanent