Russia Detains Lithuanian Fishing Vessel In International Waters

Russia Detains Lithuanian Fishing Vessel In International Waters

Russia detained a Lithuanian fishing vessel in international waters on September 17, then towed the vessel to Russia’ s Murmansk Port on September 19.

According to Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said the ship is named “Juros Vilkas” (Sea Wolf). He said the ship was detained for allegedly “entering Russia’s territorial waters but…the detention itself took place in international waters.”

The Lithuanian Tribune’s Delfi reports that Darius Nienius, head of Lithuanian’s Agricultural Ministry’s Fisheries Department, says “data from [Lithuania’s] satellite system” show the ship was not in “Russia’s economic zone” at the time it was seized. 

Nienius said the “allegation” against the vessel is that “it had entered Russia’s economic zone and carried out fishing activities there.” But he said that while satellites show the vessel did enter Russian waters on September 8, it was a one hour entry which did not give crew members enough time to do any fishing. 

He says Lithuania’s position is that the vessel was detained “in violation of international commitments and agreements.” 

There are 28 crew members aboard the Juros Vilkas, three of whom are Lithuanian citizens. There are no reports on the nationalities of the other crew members. 

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