Cod of Discord: Push to Sever Key Fishing Deal With Russia Intensifies on Faroe Islands

https://sputniknews.com/20221107/sod-of-discord-push-to-sever-key-fishing-deal-with-russia-intensifies-on-faroe-islands-1103841525.html

Cod of Discord: Push to Sever Key Fishing Deal With Russia Intensifies on Faroe Islands

Cod of Discord: Push to Sever Key Fishing Deal With Russia Intensifies on Faroe Islands

In one of the most heated issues in the otherwise calm Faroe Islands, several parties, backed by politicians in Copenhagen, are pressing to put an end to… 07.11.2022, Sputnik International

2022-11-07T05:24+0000

2022-11-07T05:24+0000

2022-11-07T05:26+0000

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The opposition Social Democrats and the Center Party, which are part of the coalition government, are in favor of abandoning the fishing agreement over the conflict in Ukraine and joining Denmark and the rest of Western Europe in severe economic ties with Moscow. However, they are under no obligation to do so, the food supplies are exempt from the EU’s considerable sanctions against Russia. The People’s Party and the Union Party, the pillars of the ruling coalition, have, by contrast, traditionally supported the agreement, because its termination would hurt the Faroese economy badly. Recently, through, they have become less firm in their stance and are even in the process of calculating the extent of the possible economic setback.The Faroese politicians are under increasing pressure from Denmark, which is pressuring their self-ruling partner to sever the agreement .“I would hope they contribute to isolating Russia as much as they can, and don’t enter into any agreements with Russia of that nature,” Rasmus Jarlov of the Conservative Party told Danish media.The Faroe Islands’ fishing agreement with Russia is based on barter. Russia gives the island nation a quota to fish cod in the Barents Sea, while Russian ships in return are allowed to catch blue whiting in Faroese waters and transship the catch via Faroese ports. The fishing agreement runs for one year at a time. The current one expires at the end of the year, unless it is renegotiated, which has been the tradition.The end of a 45-year-long period of fishing cooperation with Russia, established during the Soviet era in 1977, may thrust the Faroese fishery and send shipping companies into financial limbo.The fish that Faroese trawlers catch in the Russian part of the Barents Sea is estimated at DKK 341 million annually (over $45 million), which is an important figure for the 55,000-strong island nation.The termination of the agreement would hit Faroese shipping companies the hardest, which have recently invested over DKK 1.5 billion ($200 million) into new trawlers.The Faroe Islands is a North Atlantic archipelago island country located about halfway between Norway, Iceland and Scotland. It enjoys self-rule within the Danish Realm alongside Greenland.Europe’s economy in general is in a state of disarray as the result of the EU’s backfiring sanctions against Russia, which were meant to “punish” Moscow for its special operation in Ukraine, yet compounded the continent’s energy and cost-of-living crises. Nations across the bloc from Lisbon to Tallinn have been saddled with record inflation, driven by spiraling energy prices.

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fisheries agreement, barents sea fishing, cod fishing, eu’s backfiring sanctions, eu sanctions campaign

fisheries agreement, barents sea fishing, cod fishing, eu’s backfiring sanctions, eu sanctions campaign

In one of the most heated issues in the otherwise calm Faroe Islands, several parties, backed by politicians in Copenhagen, are pressing to put an end to decades of fishing cooperation with Russia, which is now presented as “controversial” and has already caused a rift within the government, despite being vital for the local economy.

The opposition Social Democrats and the Center Party, which are part of the coalition government, are in favor of abandoning the fishing agreement over the conflict in Ukraine and joining Denmark and the rest of Western Europe in severe economic ties with Moscow. However, they are under no obligation to do so, the food supplies are exempt from the EU’s considerable sanctions against Russia.

The People’s Party and the Union Party, the pillars of the ruling coalition, have, by contrast, traditionally supported the agreement, because its termination would hurt the Faroese economy badly. Recently, through, they have become less firm in their stance and are even in the process of calculating the extent of the possible economic setback.

“I find it difficult to see anything that is more politically inflamed than this agreement,” Hallbera West, assistant professor of political science at the University of the Faroe Islands, told Danish media.

The Faroese politicians are under increasing pressure from Denmark, which is pressuring their self-ruling partner to sever the agreement.

“I would hope they contribute to isolating Russia as much as they can, and don’t enter into any agreements with Russia of that nature,” Rasmus Jarlov of the Conservative Party told Danish media.

The Faroe Islands’ fishing agreement with Russia is based on barter. Russia gives the island nation a quota to fish cod in the Barents Sea, while Russian ships in return are allowed to catch blue whiting in Faroese waters and transship the catch via Faroese ports. The fishing agreement runs for one year at a time. The current one expires at the end of the year, unless it is renegotiated, which has been the tradition.

The end of a 45-year-long period of fishing cooperation with Russia, established during the Soviet era in 1977, may thrust the Faroese fishery and send shipping companies into financial limbo.

The fish that Faroese trawlers catch in the Russian part of the Barents Sea is estimated at DKK 341 million annually (over $45 million), which is an important figure for the 55,000-strong island nation.

The termination of the agreement would hit Faroese shipping companies the hardest, which have recently invested over DKK 1.5 billion ($200 million) into new trawlers.

“Very large investments have been made in the Faroese fishing fleet, which must continue fishing in the Barents Sea, so it’s not something you just shut down overnight,” Christian Andreasen of the People’s Party told Danish media.

The Faroe Islands is a North Atlantic archipelago island country located about halfway between Norway, Iceland and Scotland. It enjoys self-rule within the Danish Realm alongside Greenland.

Europe’s economy in general is in a state of disarray as the result of the EU’s backfiring sanctions against Russia, which were meant to “punish” Moscow for its special operation in Ukraine, yet compounded the continent’s energy and cost-of-living crises. Nations across the bloc from Lisbon to Tallinn have been saddled with record inflation, driven by spiraling energy prices.

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