On Saturday while on mission in Vladivostok Yury Arsentyev, head of the department of biological resources of the Russian State Committee on Fisheries stated in his interview to RIA Novosti that from January 2002 the Sea of Okhotsk would be closed for international fishing. According to him, international fishing seriously damaged marine biological resources of the northern sector of the Pacific Ocean. Yury Arsentyev pointed out that "many foreign companies while trying to catch more than it was prescribed by the quota, were intentionally underestimating the true size of their catch in their log-books". At the same time, in Arsentyev's' opinion, it was important for the Russian large-capacity fleet of 160 vessels to be present in the open waters of the Pacific ocean".
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated