Russia has renewed hostilities with Greenpeace after accusing the campaign group of encouraging Senegal to seize and detain a large factory trawler working its waters.
The Oleg Naydenov, a Russian-owned trawler that regularly fishes off the west African coast, was boarded by armed Senegalese commandos near the maritime border with Guinea-Bissau last week and escorted back to the port of Dakar. The Senegalese government has reportedly demanded €1.5m in fines for alleged illegal fishing in its exclusive 12-mile fishing zone on 23 December.
The detention of the Oleg Naydenov has provoked a diplomatic row with the Russian government, which this week linked the detention of the ship to the Russian seizing of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise in October 2013.
“It turns out that the army of the sovereign Republic of Senegal acts on the command of Greenpeace,” Alexander Savelyov, a spokesman Russia’s Federal Fisheries Agency, told Russia’s Novosti news agency on Wednesday. “As such the Senegalese army continues to hold the fishing trawler Oleg Naydenov along with citizens of Russia and Guinea-Bissau at a military base in Dakar.”