For the last three days the Norweigians and Russians have been playing a game of cat and mouse on the high seas. Now it may be about to get more serious, as Russian trawler the “Elektron” is returning to Russian territorial waters. The trouble is it has two Norweigian coastguards aboard, being held against their will after inspecting the vessel. Norway’s new foreign minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere, said:
“It is not the first time this has happened. We have good relations – this trawler is an isolated case, and the Norwegian coastguard will handle this in a appropriate way. We are in dialogue whith the Russian government”.
The “Elektron” is accused of illegal fishing near the Svalbard islands in the Barents sea. Norway’s claim on the waters is not recognised by Russia, and a pair of Russian frigates awaits the trawler, which is being shadowed by Norweigian coastguards. Both countries navies have orders not to intervene, and the dispute is expected to be resolved through the law.