Russia cannot grant actress Pamela Anderson's request to President Vladimir Putin to block passage of a ship carrying a cargo of whale meat because Moscow has no business interfering in “offenses” committed in other countries, a senior Nature Ministry official said, the Izvestia newspaper reported Friday.
“According to the United Nations convention on the law of the sea, we have freedom of seafaring,” a deputy chief of the ministry's department for biodiversity preservation, Valery Fyodorov, was quoted as saying. “What are we going to do — punish people for offenses committed on the territory of another state? Who gave us such a right?”
“Let the control agencies of the country where the killing of fin whales was committed sort this out,” he added, Izvestia reported.
Anderson had written an open letter to Putin earlier this week, appealing to him as a fellow animal lover to block passage of the Winter Bay ship, which is en route from Iceland to Japan with a reported cargo of 1,700 tons of fin whale.
The Canadian-American actress told Putin his interference “could put an end to the needless slaughter of endangered whales.”
A Russian envoy to the International Whaling Commission, Valentin Ilyashenko, was quoted by Izvestia as saying that Russia, along with Iceland and Norway, declined to join the agency's 1982 moratorium on commercial whaling, while Japan had also objected to the treaty, “so the meat harvested in Iceland is legal.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday that the presidential administration was not familiar with Anderson's letter, RIA reported.