Waters around Faroe Islands: Media reports: Russia is said to have spied with fishing ships - military radios found

In connection with research by four northern European television stations, new findings have come to light: As reported by the Danish broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR), among others, two Russian fishing ships are said to have been on a spy mission.

Waters around Faroe Islands: Media reports: Russia is said to have spied with fishing ships - military radios found

In connection with research by four northern European television stations, new findings have come to light: As reported by the Danish broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR), among others, two Russian fishing ships are said to have been on a spy mission.

DR, NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden) and Yle (Finland) had previously reported on alleged espionage and reconnaissance of critical infrastructure in the North and Baltic Seas by Russian ships. The research is part of the "Schattenkrieg" documentary, which is broadcast by all four channels.

According to DR information, the two Russian fishing ships "Lira" and "Ester" have been in the waters of the autonomous Faroe Islands in recent years and have also docked in ports there. In November, both ships then drove from there to the Norwegian city of Kirkenes, where the police routinely inspected the two vehicles.

During the investigation, military radios were discovered. Pictures of it went to the Norwegian secret service PST. On board the "Lira", the radio was found in a locked room below deck, NRK reported. One person was sitting at the device. According to NRK, such a radio was also found on board the "Ester".

"The radios can transmit military messages and information and receive them vice versa," Johan Roaldsnes, head of PST in Finnmark in northern Norway, told TV channels. "Russia needs these civilian ships to support military purposes."

Roaldsnes said finds like this strengthened suspicions that espionage is being conducted from ordinary fishing vessels.

For several decades, the Faroe Islands, where the two suspected fishing vessels were active, have had a treaty with Russia and the former Soviet Union, respectively. This states that Russian ships are allowed to fish around the Faroe Islands and vice versa. The Faroe Islands are an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Denmark and, as a non-EU member, are not bound by any sanctions against Russia. While the Faroe Islands support many of the EU sanctions, they have made an exception in the fisheries agreement with Russia. This led to discussions on the islands and also in Denmark. (You can read more about this here.)

However, the alleged espionage activities of the fishing vessels could pose a threat to the Faroe Islands and the Danish kingdom community, said former Navy Chief and Rear Admiral Nils Wang: "You have to be aware that all movements and daily life in the Faroe Islands islands are constantly monitored by the Russian ships that are in that area. And there are always Russian ships in Faroese areas," he told DR.

Nevertheless, he was not surprised by the discovery of the military radios. He is sure that there are "many more" of such ships.

Several Danish politicians reacted with dismay to the research. The head of the Conservative People's Party, Søren Pape Poulsen, called the events "absolutely crazy" and called for an end to the fisheries agreements between Russia and the Faroe Islands: "It's not a Faroese issue at all. I don't give a damn about the fisheries agreements when it comes to this issue . Because when a civilian ship has military equipment on board, it's no longer about trade. It's about foreign and security policy and therefore a matter for the Danish government," he told DR.

The leader of the left-liberal Radikale Venstre party, Martin Lidegaard, told the broadcaster that alleged Russian espionage in the waters of Denmark and the Faroe Islands fueled "divisions in the Danish empire". He called for the fisheries agreements to be made an item on the agenda in talks between Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands: "This raises completely new security policy issues, so that, in my clear opinion, the Danish government must react and hold a dialogue with the Faroe Islands about how they want to deal with it ."

Quellen: Danmarks Radio, NRK

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