Incident at sea has been keeping three Russian sailors abroad for a year
Canadian and American sea authorities have been racking their brains regarding the problem with those from the crew of the Russian tanker Virgo. Three Russian citizens, the sailors of the vessel that sailed under the Cypriot flag, are currently half-starving in Canada.
The point of the detention is as follows. The tanker allegedly rammed and sank American trawler Starbound about a year ago. The investigation is still underway. American authorities actually nabbed a vessel at port and arrested three members of the crew. The Russian government demands the investigation should be conducted by the adequate Russian bodies. The tanker bumped into the trawler in neutral waters. According to certain paragraphs of the international sea right, it is the Cypriot government that is supposed to conduct the investigation, not Canadian or American authorities. Or the Russian government, at least, since the arrested sailors are Russian citizens. The question on the extradition has not been solved yet, although America is being quite persistent about it.
We have not managed to find out, who is playing the game in this story: either Americans or Russians. Yet, it is clear that the dispute would be settled at once, if President Putin called President Bush. By the way, American presidents do not disdain to do something for even one American, if he or she is in the hour of need somewhere far abroad.
Vitaly Bratkov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969