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Monday, May 27, 2024

Russia upsets Norwegian fishing boats

A sudden Russian naval exercise in the Norwegian economic zone of the Barents Sea has upset scores of Norwegian fishing boats already in the area south of Bjørnøya and Svalbard. The Norwegians are refusing to pull out and have no obligation to do so.

The Kirkenes-based Independent Barents Observer first reported on the Russian exercises (external link) that involve around 20 Russian navy ships, submarines and 8,000 military personnel. The Russians have a right to conduct exercises in the Barents, but didn’t announce until August 7 that the exercises would begin just four days later and run from August 11-15.

Norwegian fishing boats already sailing in the area suddenly deemed as a landing site for Russian missiles were not pleased. “We haven’t received any message from Norwegian authorities to leave the area,” one fishing boat owner told state broadcaster NRK during the weekend. “We’re staying where we are.”

They’re thus defying the Russians (external link), who in turn must make sure such exercises are “carried out in a way that safeguards Norwegian rights under the Law of the Sea and international law in general,” according to Norway’s foreign ministry. The Norwegian Coast Guard, meanwhile, also has a vessel in the area as the standoff continued. staff



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