British police want to travel to Russia to find out whether ten bodies found in a cave are linked to the sinking of fishing trawler the MV Gaul.
The Gaul sank in the Barents Sea in 1974 with 36 crew on board, including six men from North Shields.
Two years ago, human remains were found in caves on the Rybachy Peninsula. It is understood they were washed ashore around the time of the tragedy.
Humberside police are now seeking permission from the Russian authorities to visit the site.
Founder of Dire Straits, Mark Knopfler, has cancelled two concerts in Russia in protest over what he has called "a crackdown" on human rights groups.
Writing on his website, Knopfler said: "Given the crackdown by Russian authorities on groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, I have regretfully decided to cancel my upcoming concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg."
"I have always loved playing in Russia and have great affection for the country and the people. I hope the current climate will change soon."
Knopfler was due to perform in Moscow on June 7 and in St Petersburg on June 8.
The Russian Ice Stars troupe is taking to the stage at the Theatre Royal in Newcastle this week on a specially built ice rink.
The world-famous skaters are hoping to impress audiences with their acrobatic ice-ballet performance of Cinderella on Ice.