Russia this week conducted a military exercise in Norway’s economic zone in the northeast Barents Sea. The organization Fiskebåt, the organization of the deep-sea fishing fleet, reacted strongly.
“We find it worrying that Russia is once again choosing to conduct a military exercise in the Norwegian economic zone on short notice and without regard to ongoing fishing activities,” said Sturla Roald, division chief at Fiskebåt, in a statement. Press.
The exercise covers a large area in which there are currently beaked rockfish fisheries, informs Fiskebåt. There are currently seven Norwegian ships in the area, most of which were due to leave the area.
“Russia has no legal reason to close the area and is responsible for conducting the exercise in such a way that security is maintained. However, each vessel will have to decide for itself whether or not to comply with the request to leave the area or not,” Roald said in the statement.
“Given how Russia is acting in other areas, there may be reason to be concerned about the safety of vessels that choose to remain in the area,” he adds.
Fiskebåt will follow up the case with the Norwegian authorities. “This has also been done before, but without tangible results,” writes the organization.
According to the navigational warning, the exercise took place from May 14 at 9:00 p.m. to May 18 at 9:00 p.m.
No major exercise
Norwegian headquarters spokesman Preben Aursand confirms to High North News that there was an ongoing Russian military exercise in the northeast Barents Sea, however, that NJHQ does not consider it a major exercise. .
“Russia has the right to exercise in international waters, however, they have no legal reason to close the area. They have issued a navigational warning in which they explain where they will train and exercise, and are also in charge of security in this area.They must ensure that the exercise is conducted in a responsible manner,” Aursand points out.
In an interview with High North News, researcher and professor Øystein Jensen of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute previously explained that Russia is allowed to conduct maritime military exercises in the Norwegian economic zone. However, if the exercise conflicts with and does not sufficiently consider Norwegian fisheries to too great an extent, it may be illegal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). This article is available here. (Norwegian only)