Fiskerikonflikter i Barentshavet - potensial for eskalering - en komparativ studie av russiske reaksjonsmønstre under oppbringelsen av "Tsjernigov" (2001) og "Elektron" (2005)
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The legal status of the Svalbard Fisheries Protection Zone constitutes a source of conflict in the bilateral relations between Norway and Russia. Norway is unilaterally enforcing Norwegian jurisdiction to control the fisheries in the Barents Sea. The two incidents where Russian trawlers have been detained by Norwegian Coast Guard have led to crises in the bilateral relationship. This is due to Russian non-acceptance of Norwegian jurisdiction in the area. According to the Russian side, "gentle enforcement" does not entail detention of Russian trawlers. This report analyses the different Russian parties that are involved in the decision-making process when crises such as these arise. The findings show that Russia in these situations is an unpredictable actor with diverging interests. Administrative reform has not brought order to the Russian fisheries complex, which still appears to be fraught with corruption and noncompliance. The actors analysed have shifting loyalties, and few seem interested in working toward effective control of the fisheries in the Barents Sea. Elements in the Russian fisheries complex advocate a strong Russian resolve against the Norwegian regime in the Fisheries Protection Zone, and call for the use of armed forces in order to protect Russian national economic interests in the area. The presence of naval forces in the region heightens the inherent conflict potential in the current situation.