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Lithuania protests Russian seizure of fishing ship in Arctic waters


VILNIUS, Lithuania — Lithuania has accused Russia of violating international maritime law by seizing a Lithuanian fishing vessel and its 28-member crew in Arctic waters.

Rasa Jakilaitiene, a spokeswoman of Lithuania's Foreign Ministry, told reporters Wednesday that the "Juros Vilkas" was in international waters when it was seized Sept. 18 in the Barents Sea. She said that assessment was supported by satellite data.

Moscow says the ship was fishing crab illegally in Russia's exclusive economic zone.

The European Union on Tuesday urged Russia to free the vessel "immediately," and said it had raised the issue with the Russian ambassador.

Lithuania's Foreign Ministry said the ship is being held in the Russian port of Murmansk. A lawyer for the ship owner said a Murmansk court will decide on the ship's fate on Oct. 7.

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