Faroe Islands tightly restricts port access for Russian trawlers

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - The Faroe Islands said on Thursday it would tightly restrict access to its ports by Russian fishing trawlers, after Norwegian police said some that docked there regularly were carrying military radio equipment.

Faroese authorities initially tightened inspections of fishing and transport vessels in response to the police comments, reported in April by state broadcasters across the Nordic region and which Russian authorities denied.

The Faroese government said only Russian fishing boats operating under a long-standing bilateral agreement and which land their catches inside Faroese waters would henceforth be allowed to dock in Faroese ports. They will not have access to repair facilities, it added.

All Russian vessels that trawl for fish outside Faroese waters and bring them into the islands' ports - a catch of 300,000-400,000 tonnes per year - would be excluded, it said.

Norway took similar steps last October, tightening security following sabotage on the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the nearby Baltic Sea.

The Faroe Islands, located some 320 kilometres (200 miles) north of Scotland, are a sovereign territory within the Kingdom of Denmark.

(Reporting by Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; editing by John Stonestreet)