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Norwegian ships reportedly helped Russian fishing company transport cargo, Norwegian broadcaster reports

by Nate Ostiller June 21, 2024 11:04 AM 2 min read
Vitaly Orlov, Owner of the Norebo fishing group, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 4, 2021. (Maksim Konstantinov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Editor's note: An earlier version of this article said that Norebo had collaborated with Silver Sea to transfer cargo and crew. NRK reached out to clarify that it only transferred cargo, the Russian crew members already worked with Silver Sea.

The Russian fishing company Norebo has reportedly collaborated with the Norwegian company Silver Sea to help transport fish after Russian ships were banned from docking in the Netherlands, the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported on June 20.

The Dutch government ruled in May to end exemptions that allowed Russian fishing companies to offload their products in the Netherlands, which has typically been one of Europe's largest importers of Russian seafood.

The end of the exemptions was not due to sanctions on Russian fish, which is still free from restrictions, but instead reportedly connected to allegations that Norebo's ships were conducting espionage in Dutch ports.

Norebo spokesperson Sergey Sennikov told NRK that he rejected that the company had been involved in spying. Norebo is one of Russia's largest fishing companies and was co-founded by sanctioned Russian oligarch Vitaly Orlov, whom Forbes estimates to have a net worth of $1.3 billion.

According to NRK, Norebo collaborated with Silver Sea to transport the Russian-sourced fish to one of its Norwegian-flagged boats.

Silver Sea manager Tormod Bo Fossmark said the company employs people to make sure that no sanctions are violated, adding that "we have been encouraged not to carry out self-sanctions beyond what the authorities have decided."

NRK asked Dutch authorities how Norebo could bypass restrictions on Russian-flagged vessels by simply transferring cargo to a Norwegian-flagged ship, but it did not receive an answer.

German customs detains ship loaded with sanctioned Russian uranium, lumber
The cargo ship, named Atlantic Navigator II, is registered in the Marshall Islands, but has a largely Russian crew. It was forced to stop in Rostock due to propeller damage, where it encountered trouble with German customs agents due to its cargo of sanctioned goods.

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