Fish and chips under threat as Russia pulls out of deal signed with UK in 1956

Business

Russia has pulled out of a long-standing deal with the UK – putting fish and chips at risk.

A 1956 agreement that allows British boats to fish in the Barents Sea has been ripped up, in the latest sign of growing tensions between Moscow and the West.

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The fishing deal was signed by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, but Russian politicians have now claimed it was never in the national interest.

Parliamentary speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said: “The British need to study some proverbs – ‘Russians harness the horse slowly, but ride it fast’.”

On Wednesday, the UK had imposed sanctions on six people in charge of the Arctic penal colony where Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic, died last week.

Mr Volodin said withdrawal from the fishing deal was in direct response to these sanctions – as British vessels have caught thousands of tonnes of cod and haddock in Russian waters.

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A close Putin ally, the politician also doubled down on the Kremlin’s view that the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy.

He said: “With Gorbachev, we lost our country, and with Putin we got it back.”

Last year, Sky News reported that up to 40% of cod and haddock consumed in the UK comes from Russia and Russian territory – with Moscow accused of “weaponising food”.

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