17 October 2005
A joint delegation of the Archangelsk Trawl Fleet and Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners visited the Islamic Republic of Mauritania
On October 10-15, 2005, delegated by the Russian Federal Property Management Agency, the representatives of the 100% state-owned open joint-stock company Archangelsk Trawl Fleet (ATF) and the law firm of Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners, a legal adviser to the Russian Federation and Archangelsk Trawl Fleet, visited the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to meet with the country’s high-ranking officials.

In particular, the Russian delegation was received by the Minister of Justice, Minister of Fishery and Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mauritania. The discussions with the Mauritanian state officials were focused upon the unlawful arrestment and public sale, in 2004, of three trawlers owned by the Russian Federation and assigned to ATF – Kapitan Kononov, Yuosas Aleksonis, and Tralmester Mogutov.

The Russian trawlers were detained following the lawsuit of a Mauritanian firm, Societe de Promotion de la Peche (SPP), that under forged documents accused the Archangelsk Trawl Fleet of non-payment of $ 13 mln. of(in) alleged debt. On account of that ficticious debt the ships were sold by the Mauritanian authorities to SPP.

In December 2004, the old management of ATF was removed and the new CEO, Yuri Nikulin decided to return the ships: Kapitan Kononov, Yuosas Aleksonis, and Tralmester Mogutov to their legitimate owner. The law firm of EPA&P was hired to represent the interests of the Russian Federation and ATF.

“We are satisfied with the results of our visit, – commented EPA&P senior lawyer Daniil Petrov, representative of the Russian Federal Property Management Agency and head of EPA&P delegation in Mauritania.

“Our task was to convince the Mauritanian leadership of the fact that the issue of the Russian ships goes beyond the framework of relationship of two economic actors – ATF and SPP. The conflict directly affects the material interests of the Russian Federation, as well as its reputation and should be considered in the broader framework of intergovernmental relations between Russia and Mauritania.

Following the visit to Mauritania, the Archangelsk Trawl Fleet and Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners held a joint press-conference in Archangelsk attended by the leading Media of the North-Western region of Russia.