The government of the Russian Federation is asking to cancel the 1956 treaty with Britain

The government of the Russian Federation is asking to cancel the 1956 treaty with Britain

The Government of Russia submitted a bill to the State Duma on the denunciation of the agreement with Great Britain on fishing. The document appeared in the Duma’s electronic database on Saturday. On January 18, the Cabinet of Ministers at its first meeting after the New Year approved the denunciation of the agreement.

It was signed between the former USSR and Great Britain back in May 1956, shortly after the visit of Soviet leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin to London. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the agreement continued to operate, as Russia declared itself the legal successor of the USSR.

According to the document, British fishing vessels were allowed to fish in certain areas of the Barents Sea along the coast of the Kola Peninsula. Ships were also allowed to freely sail and anchor in these waters. The Russian government proposed to denounce the document, which has been in effect for almost 70 years, due to the fact that Great Britain, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, refused the most favored nation regime in trade with Russia. The explanatory note to the draft law states that the agreement is “predominantly unilateral” and its denunciation “will not cause serious foreign policy and economic consequences for the Russian Federation”.

At the same time, the government newspaper “Rossiyskaya Gazeta” notes that the probable termination of the agreement will be “unique in its kind”, since “earlier international agreements in the field of food have never been denounced.”

A number of British tabloids, in connection with reports about the possible denunciation of the contract, expressed fears that this step could lead to an increase in the price of the traditional dish Fish and chips (fish, usually cod, with French fries). The national federation of fishing organizations, however, said that Moscow’s decision will not affect the industry in any way, since British fishermen have not been fishing in the places mentioned in the agreement. The British government called the decision of the Russian authorities an example of Russia’s “self-isolation”.

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