Russian court adjourns hearing of Lithuanian fishing vessel’s case

He said he requested the court to ask Russia’s Ministry of Defence to clarify certain navigation-related legislation.

The Murmansk court will hold the next hearing on 25 Novomber.

“The court adjourned the hearing. It expects to receive a response until then and then it will be able to make a decision,” the lawyer said.

He said he would probably submit an appeal against the set bail of 36.6 million roubles (EUR 0.68 million) but the final decision has not been agreed on with the ships’ owners.

On 26 October, the Murmansk court reduced the bail from 113 million roubles.

Lithuania says Russia detained the fishing vessel illegally in September after armed officers seized control of it.

On Thursday, Lithuania’s Ministry of Agriculture said the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission, accountable to the European Commission, might be to blame for the detention of the Lithuanian fishing vessel in Russia as it failed to provide in time information about changes in the boundaries of Russia’s special economic zone.

It said the coordinates on the NEAFC database do not match the existing situation.

Russia has signed a bilateral agreement on fishing with Norway, expanding the boundaries of Russia’s special economic zone. The NEAFC has also been informed about it but other countries have not, the ministry said. This might have been the reason why the Lithuanian fishing vessel could have sailed into Russia’s special economic zone.

Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė plans to turn to the European Commission, asking that the NEAFC assume responsibility for the failure to provide information about changes in coordinates in time.

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