MOSCOW, May 23. /TASS/. The Kremlin is surprised with the statement of the head of the orcas’ owner company from the Srednyaya Bay on the refusal to release the orcas and beluga whales to the environment and also states the problem with the execution of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s orders in this regard.
"We were surprised to hear today the statements made by the company’s representative or owner that carried out the capturing," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
"We mean to refresh the memory about the list of orders given by the president. There is no need to give any additional orders, as everything had been clearly formulated. We can state now that these orders are not being executed at least partially, so now we will again study in which part these orders are not being implemented," Peskov stressed.
Earlier on Thursday, Alexei Reshetov, Director General of Afalina, one of the companies that captured the cetaceans, said that the animals are his property and he is not going to voluntarily release them. The press service of the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment stressed that the ministry’s position remains unchanged, that "the animals should be saved" and that they do not comment on "third persons’ statements."
Initially there were 90 beluga whales and 11 orcas caught for sale to China kept in the Srednyaya Bay, but three beluga whales and one orca later got lost. According to the investigators, there were violations in the animals’ capture, and a criminal case was launched on the illegal capture of bioresources.
On February 22, President Vladimir Putin ordered the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture to determine the future of these animals in cooperation with scientific organizations. The Russian Presidential Administration’s Control Directorate took the issue of the cetaceans’ release under special control. In mid-May the Primorsky Region’s authorities stated that the animals may be released in two months.