The Lithuanian fishing vessel detained in Russia has been placed under arrest, with administrative charges brought against its captain, Lithuanian diplomats said on Thursday. Lawyers have requested that the ship be released on a bail.

The decision on bail should be made next week, the Lithuanian foreign minister's spokeswoman told BNS.

"The pre-trial investigation authorities decided today to put the vessel under arrest, administrative charges were brought against the captain. Lawyers have submitted a plea for the ship to be released on a bail. The decision on the bail and its size will be made by court next week," spokeswoman Rasa Jakilaitienė told BNS.

In her words, lawyers of the fisheries company have already arrived in Murmansk, a consul was taking care of the three Lithuanian citizens aboard the ship before their arrival.

Lithuania maintains the fishing vessel Jūros Vilkas (Sea Wolf) was last week unlawfully detained in international waters, while, Russia claims the Lithuanian ship was engaged in unlawful fisheries in Russia's economic zone.

In the crew of 28 people there are three Lithuanian citizens including the captain.

Lithuania's Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė earlier on Thursday asked the European Commission to represent the interests of the arrested ship in the case.

"Lithuania seeks to defend the legitimate interests of the fisheries company and citizens by getting help of the European Commission, which represents the European union in the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission," the minister said in a press release.

According to the communiqué, the territory where the ship was detained is in the area administered by the commission, which includes eight countries, namely, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, the European Union, Russia, Canada, New Zealand, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The ministry is working on thorough information to be sent to the European Commission's Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Directorate, which is expected to mediate in the settlement of the disagreements with Russia.

BNS
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