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Main Diplomacy — The Netherlands have stopped allowing Russian fishing vessels into their ports

Diplomacy

The Netherlands have stopped allowing Russian fishing vessels into their ports

01 Jun, 2024
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The Netherlands have stopped allowing Russian fishing vessels into their ports

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Dutch ports are closing access for Russian fishing vessels, as reported by RBK..

The ship 'Norebo' was not allowed to enter the port of Eemshaven, and then other ports of the country. The shipowner has all the necessary documents, including certificates for the catch and permissions to enter ports.

The refusal to enter ports is linked to an investigation by Dutch media into possible espionage by Russian fishing vessels, including the 'Norebo' ships. Journalists suggest that the 'Norebo' vessels, regularly visiting Eemshaven, could conduct reconnaissance near military facilities and strategic infrastructure objects (communication cables, LNG terminals).

In 2022, the Russian Maritime Doctrine was updated, allowing the use of civilian vessels, including fishing vessels, for military purposes.

'Norebo' denies the accusations, calling them 'fantasies.'

'Norebo' clarified that the restrictions apply only to entries of vessels under the Russian flag, and the supply of fish products remains unrestricted.

  • The Netherlands is among the top five largest export markets for Russian fishery products, alongside China, Japan, South Korea, and Nigeria. According to the Ministry of Agriculture's estimates, in 2023, Russia exported 2.5 million tons of fishery products abroad, which is about half of the total catch, which amounted to 5.2 million tons last year. The main part of Russian fishery exports to the EU consists of whitefish, such as cod and Alaska pollock. In 2023, Russia exported 138 thousand tons of fishery products to the Netherlands, which is 4% more than the previous year.
  • The owner of the Norebo holding is Vitaly Orlov. He ranks 104th in Forbes' list of Russian billionaires, with an estimated fortune of $1.3 billion. Orlov entered the list of dollar billionaires in 2017. Bloomberg reported that his wealth grew, in part, due to sanctions. According to experts interviewed by the publication, 60% of Norebo's products were destined for foreign markets, but domestic consumption also increased due to the food embargo.
  • Russia has been suspected of espionage using ships before. In April 2023, intelligence services and media outlets in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland reported that Russian ships, disguised as fishing trawlers and research vessels, allegedly were equipped with equipment for underwater surveillance.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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