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Russia to use instruments of law to have its trawler released from detention in Senegal

January 18, 2014, 2:29 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, January 17, 23:41 /ITAR-TASS/. Efforts to have the Russian fishing trawler Oleg Naydenov, which was detained in Senegal in early January, and its crew released should be taken within the framework of law, Ilya Shestakov, the newly appointed head of Russia’s fisheries agency, told journalists on Friday.

“As for Senegal, we are taking active efforts to solve this problem. The Russian ambassador to Senegal may soon meet with that country’s foreign minister,” he said, adding that the position of the Russian ministry of agriculture was that the protection of Russian nationals should be carried out in legal framework “to avoid any insinuations.”

“We will use instruments of law to have our vessel and its crew released,” he stressed.

The Oleg Naydenov suspected of illegal fishing within Senegalese waters was seized by the Senegalese military 46 miles of Guinea-Bissau on January 4 with 82 crew onboard, including 62 Russians and 20 citizens of Guinea-Bissau, and convoyed to the port of Dakar on January 5. During the seizure several sailors were injured.

The Oleg Naydenov is owned by private company Fenix registered in Murmansk, the extreme northwest part of Russia. It is a big fishing boat of Moonzund type, 120 meters long, built in Germany in 1989.

On Friday, the ship owner paid a bail of one million U.S. dollars but there has been no response from the Senegalese authorities. The crew remains on board the vessel under control of the Senegalese law enforcers.

Shestakov, a Deputy Minister of Agriculture, was appointed head of the fisheries agency earlier on Friday. He will combine his two jobs.

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