Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (56)

Kevin Humphreys


55 Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the discussions that have taken place between him and the Russian Embassy to recover costs totalling €155,166.04 related to the Admiral Kuznetsov incident in February 2009; when contact was last made with the Russian Embassy regarding same; the further efforts that will be made to recover the outstanding moneys; his views on the lack of action on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35713/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

In 2009, after the Admiral Kuznetsov incident, the issue was discussed with the authorities of the Russian Federation in Dublin and in Moscow. This issue has been raised with the Russian authorities, including at senior official level earlier this year. It is our understanding, however, that following a letter from the Admiral Commander in Chief of the Navy of the Russian Federation to the Director of the Irish Coast Guard, outlining the results of an official investigation carried out and assurances that such an incident could not happen again, the matter is considered closed by the Russian authorities.

The Deputy will wish to be aware that the International Conventions UNCLOS and MARPOL, which inform the Sea Pollution Act 1991, covers these types of circumstances and specifically state that their provisions do not apply to warships. In the case of the Admiral Kuznetsov, as a naval vessel, the usual rules on pollution, as pertaining to commercial vessels, do not apply.