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Norwegians had no right to detain the Russian trawler Elektron
Norwegians had no right to detain the Russian trawler Elektron which had been fishing in Spitsbergen's littoral zone, deputy head of the department for food, fisheries and agriculture of the administration of the Murmansk region Vadim Sokolov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday. “We have equal rights to this island zone with Norway, fixed by an international agreement dating to the early 20th century," he said. “Norway's applying its laws to this territory is illegal, so we have all reasons to regard the trawler incident as an infringement upon the sovereignty of the Russian state,” Sokolov went on to say. The Elektron became the second vessel from Murmansk which was illegally arrested by Norwegian coastguards near Spitsbergen in October. Earlier, Norway fined the vessel “Metelitsa” 500,000 kronas for not supplying the information about the size of its catch. The Metelitsa’s captain regards this claim illegal and categorically refuses to pay the fine. In Sokolov’s view, Norway intentionally worsens relations with Russian fisheries. The purpose of the action is obvious – to achieve what has already happened to Russian fishermen in the far east who were fully ousted by Americans. To preserve its fishing off Spitsbergen, the Russian state should ensure the protection of its fisherman there, the official said
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