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It is a disgraceful battle now going on around the international Svalbard zone.

The Norwegian Coast Guard's forced towing of a Spanish trawler to Tromsø this week comes just a few weeks after the conflict with a Russian ship that defied Norwegian orders and headed for Murmansk.

Both events should be unnecessary. And here the greatest responsibility rests with the Norwegian authorities. It is not about self-assertion that one is right, but whether one can, with arguments, and not power, justify one's actions towards the world community. It is at this point that Norway has failed.

Norwegian media have naturally been most concerned with the rights of their own nation state. Therefore, it is most natural that Spanish and Russian skippers are the big problem. The Spanish skipper of "Monte Meixueiro" has undeniably committed illegally. . .

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