Russia says Denmark detains its research vessel

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MOSCOW – Danish authorities have detained a Russian research vessel and seized the ship’s documents, Russia’s embassy in Copenhagen said on Thursday.

Russian RIA news agency reported that 61 people were on board of the vessel, citing the embassy.

The embassy said the vessel, Akademik Ioffe of the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, was detained on Nov. 1 while it was refuelling at the port of Skagen.

The arrest of the vessel was carried out as an interim measure in a third party claim related to the previous activities of the Akademik Ioffe vessel, it said.

The vessel was flying the Russian flag, was owned by the Russian Federation, and was used by the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology for scientific purposes, the embassy said in a statement.

Denmark’s navy and foreign ministry were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen in Copenhagen; Editing by Alex Richardson)