Faroe Islands authorizes sanctions against Russia, but fishing vessels exempt

A fishing boat in the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands parliament has unanimously passed a bill authorizing sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

The government of the Faroe Islands said it condemns Russia’s armed attack on Ukraine, and confirmed that its own sanctions would be similar to those of the European Union and other “likeminded partners” that are trying to compel Russia to stop its aggression and withdraw its armed forces from Ukraine. Because the Faroe Islands are outside of the E.U., sanctions implemented by the bloc were not legally binding for the country. The new bill was necessary to provide the legal framework needed to implement sanctions.

Through the new sanctions, the Faroes will prohibit Russian vessels from entering its ports, but the ban will not apply to fishing boats – similar to sanctions implemented by Norway.

A government statement said that the sanctions do not include fishing vessels because the Faroe Islands and Russia have cooperated on fisheries for decades. That cooperation includes jointly managing fish stocks in the North Atlantic, which represent some of the largest fisheries by volume in the world.  

“This cooperation is a necessity for joint fishery management. To the same extent as some like-minded partners, the government of the Faroe Islands takes into account the potential long-term destabilising consequences of a port closure for Russian fishing vessels for this joint management. For these reasons, port closures will not apply to Russian fishing vessels,” the government statement said.

The government said the sanctions may impact a limited amount of goods transported between the two countries, and that the country has already reduced its trade with Russia.

“Faroese exports of seafood products to Russia have reduced significantly since the beginning of the war, which is illustrated in the fact that the exports of March 2022 were only one-third of the exports in 2021,” the government said.

Photo courtesy of Nowaczyk/Shutterstock


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