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Russian diplomats seek to get official explanation of reasons for detention of trawler

January 09, 2014, 4:02 UTC+3 RABAT/MOSCOW

The crew of the Oleg Naidyonov is on board the ship under control of Senegalese security personnel. The seamen's documents were taken away immediately after detention

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© Freeze. Video provided by the Center of Public Relations Rosrybolovstva

RABAT/MOSCOW, January 09, /ITAR-TASS/. Russian diplomats and Rosrybolvstvo (Federal Agency for Fishery) are seeking to get from Senegal's authorities official explanations of reasons for the detention of the trawler Oleg Naidyonov by the miltiary of that country. The trawler has been kept in detention at Dakar military base since January 4.

The Russian fishing ship was toughly detained on January 3, 46 miles off the coast of Guinea-Bissau. During the operation, the military of Senegal inflicted a number of injuries on seamen. Then the Oleg Naidyonov was escorted to the port of Dakar. There are 62 Russians, mainly seamen from Murmansk Region, and 20 citizens of Guinea-Bissau on board the trawler.

Talkd between Russian diplomats and Rosrybolovstvo officiald with Senegal's President Macky Sall about releasing the trawler, have been postponed. Orginally they had been scheduled for the morning and then evening of January 7. Later on, the meeting was supposed to be held on January 8.

Rosrybolovstvo officials believe that talks were not held, in particular, owing to pressure by the environmental organization Greenpeace.

According to Alexander Biryuov, representative of the Rosrybolovstvo in Senegal, "The Senegalese authorities are preparing a document, in whic they will set out terms for the release of the ship on the security of a certain sum which may be large".

Rosrybolovstvo, for its part, is preparing a number of lawsuits against the government of Senegal in view of the armed detention of the trawler Oleg Naidyonov, a fishery agency official told Itar-Tass. The Russian side "has hired a rather professional local lawyer, and lawsuits are to be filed in the coming days".

Rosrybolovstvo intends to apply to Senegal's law-court in several lawsuits, including those connected with failure to give medical aid to the ship's captain Vadim Mantorov. Lawsuits will be also filed in connection with the very fact of the detention of the trawler "Oleg Naidyonov" and the fact of the use of weapons and brute force.

The Rosrybolovstvo representative is confident that the Senegalese side is dragging out the commencement of a juridical examination procedure. Thus, the ship's captain was not allowed to go ashore on January 7 to visit a clinic, chosen by the Russian side, for an examination of bodily injuries he had received during the seizure of the ship.

An official at the Rosrybolovstvo public relations centre emphasized that the Russian side would continue to make attempts at bringing the situation to a favourable unravelment and intends to establish a dialogue at all levels of Senegal's government agencies.

At present, the crew of the Oleg Naidyonov is on board the ship under control of Senegalese security personnel. The seamen's documents were taken away immediately after detention.

The crew is running out of fresh water. "The need for drinking water has arisen. We requested 30 tonnes of water but it has not been supplied yet," Alexander Biryukov, representative of Rosrybolovstvo in Senegal, told Itar-Tass correspondent Pervin Mamed-zade on Wednesday. At the same time, "the ship is well equipped and stocked up. There is a sufficient amount of food and medicines," Biryukov pointed out.

The official at the Rosrybolovstvo public relations centre confirmed that the stock of fresh water was running out. "The shipowner paid for the services of the port contractor organization for the removal of refuse and supply of fresh water. However, the Senegalese military do not allow the organization to get to the arrested ship," the Russian fishery agency official said.

Besides, the Oleg Naidyonov does not receive electric power supply from the shore and it has to use its own fuel for the generation of electricity.

Biryukov also said, "Senegalese armed gendarmes are staying on board the ship, near the gangway and do not let anyone leave the vessel".

The Oleg Naidynov is owned by the private joint-stock company Feniks (Phoenix), registered at Murmansk. This is a large fishng vessel of Moonsund type, built in Germany in 1989. The ship is 120 metres long.

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