The European Commission has confirmed that the Lithuanian fishing vessel Jūros Vilkas (Sea Wolf) was not in Russian waters when it was apprehended and forcibly towed to the northern port of Murmansk, the Lithuanian Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday.
"Jūros vilkas" (marinetraffic.com photo.)

According to the Commission, a vessel monitoring system has no record of the Jūros Vilkas being in Russia's territorial waters, it said.

EU Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki told Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Virginija Baltraitienė in a letter that it was very important to receive official information from Russia on the vessel's activities and its position at the time of detention, as well as other evidence in Russia's possession.

According to the commissioner, it is also very important to agree on the boundaries of the fishing area administered by the North East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC). Russia treats them differently, so its statements must be urgently addressed by NEAFC.

A Russian court has set a bond of around 2.3 million euros for the release of the Jūros Vilkas, which is twice the value of the vessel, the ministry said.

Lithuania is seeking to protect the fishers' interests with the help of the European Commission, which represents the EU in NEAFC.

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