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Suspected Russian Spy in National Waters

At midday today it was announced that a Russian Research vessel – Akademik Fedorov, suspected of being used as a spy vessel had been detected 70 km off the east coast of the Selvagen Islands special protection reserve.

This is the second time in a month that a Russian ‘spy’ vessel has entered national waters, and more importantly, inside the Exclusive Economic Zone of Madeira (EEZ), after the Akademik Tryoshnikov was identified sailing off the north coast of Porto Santo.

Early on this afternoon, Rui Teixeira – Commander for the Madeira Maritime Zone stated that he had not received any orders for the NRP Mondego to accompany the ship if it entered Portuguese Territorial waters.

The Akademik Fedorov was launched on the 8th of September 1987 and started its maiden voyage on the 24th of October 1987.  The ship is no stranger to controversy as it made the headlines on the 1st of August 2007, when it sailed into the path of an icebreaker on its way to the North Pole as part of Russia’s efforts to claim the sea bed under the North Pole.

Samantha Gannon

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