Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev believes the Russian Navy should be revived more actively, “so that Russia would be a maritime and military maritime power” and neighboring countries would take Russian vessels with great respect.
“This work is in progress, may be it is proceeding slower than we would like it to be, but we got down to it first time for the last 20 years,” Medvedev said during a visit aboard the Captain Morgun fishing vessel at the Murmansk port on Friday.
During a conversation in the chief cabin of the fishing vessel Captain Vladimir Voitikh complained that he has “many problems with the Norwegian border guards” during a fishing season. The captain said Norwegian warships are patrolling the sea, “demonstrating their strength.” Voitikh believes that “our warships could protect our seamen, patrol in contiguous areas, as Norwegian warships exert moral pressure on us.”
“In the Soviet times, when the military presence (of the Soviet Union) was bigger, did they behave more decently?” Medvedev asked. The captain confirmed this suggestion, adding that the fishermen “were feeling themselves protected, as warships could come to help them at any moment.” Chief of the State Fisheries Committee Andrei Krainy added that “not only naval ships, but also fishery protection vessels do not patrol contiguous areas.” “They do not afraid of us and do not respect us,” Voitikh believes.
“The fact that they do not afraid of us is not the worst thing, but they should respect us,” Medvedev said. He asked Krainy which documents should be approved so that fishery protection vessels would be present in contiguous areas. “The government should adopt a resolution so that fishery protection vessels would patrol contiguous areas and Spitsbergen would turn into a demilitarized zone,” Krainy said.
MURMANSK, January 11 (Itar-Tass)
The problem with Russian fishing outside Norway are the illegal features – using illegal fishing equipment which violates quota rules on fishing catches. The Russian Navy assuring these illegal fishermen “respect” sounds like a conflict searching approach. Mikael Storsjö.