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Governor proposes setting up Russia-Norway fishing control center

MURMANSK, October 26 (RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Kozlova) - The only possible way to resolve fishing disputes near the Svalbard islands is through negotiations and establishing a joint control center, Murmansk regional governor Yury Yevdokimov said in a press release Wednesday.

"This should replace Norway's previous course aimed at ousting Russian fishers from traditional fishing regions adjoining Spitsbergen," the release said.

Yevdokimov said the center would make rulings on disciplinary measures for violations of regulations, and harmonize the two countries' laws in this area.

On Monday, the Norwegian Coast Guard detained the fishing boat Kapitan Gorbachev and the transport vessel Dmitry Pokramovich near the island of Medvezhy in the Barents Sea after the boats entered a 12-mile exclusive fishing zone without permission. The Norwegian authorities are accusing the ships' crews of unauthorized fish reloading in Norway's territorial waters.

The latest arrests come in the wake of last week's drama involving the Elektron trawler, which the Norwegians pursued across the Barents Sea for five days after accusing the Russian crew of violating Norwegian fishing regulations.

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