Ukraine Crisis: Scottish officials ordered to withdraw from fishing talks with Russia

The Scottish Government has said it will not take part in any fisheries negotiations with the Russian Federation in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Environment Secretary Mairi Gougeon has instructed Scottish Government officials to withdraw from any such negotiations until further notice.

She confirmed the move as she called for talks over fishing stocks involving both the UK and Russia to be postponed.

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Ms Gougeon said that allowing Russia to take part in talks – whether in person or remotely – would “be an insult to our Ukrainian friends and partners”.

Ms Gougeon does not want any dealings with Russia over fishing rights.

In a letter to her Westminster counterpart George Eustice, Ms Gougeon condemned the invasion of the “peaceful sovereign state” of Ukraine by Russia as “an assault on the values and principles we hold most dear – the rule of law, democracy and freedom of the individual”.

Ms Gougeon told the UK Environment Secretary: “As you know, officials from the Russian Federation are regular participants in multilateral discussions around future shares and allocation of key stocks, including mackerel, blue whiting and Atlanto Scandian herring.

“These stocks are of significant importance to Scotland, within the UK we hold 75% of the overall mackerel quota, 93% of the blue whiting quota and 98% of the Atlanto Scandian herring quota.

“As you will also be aware, a series of meetings on sharing arrangements is currently planned to take place in London on the week of March 14.

“It is my firm view that regardless of wider discussions and decisions on Russian Federation participation going forward, these meetings should be postponed to allow for further reflection and deliberation.”

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