Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cyprus Releases Russian Syria-Bound Ammunition Ship

A Russian-owned ship reportedly carrying ammunition to Syria was allowed to leave Cyprus after giving assurances it would switch course. The cargo ship, flying the St. Vincent and Grenadines flag, was en route from St. Petersburg to the Syrian port of Latakia when it was forced to dock at a Cypriot port for refueling amid rough seas. Cypriot media said the ship, named by the authorities as the M/V Chariot and owned by the St. Petersburg firm Westberg Ltd, was carrying from 35 to 60 tons of ammunition and explosives meant for the Syrian Defense Ministry. Originally the Cypriot authorities banned the departure of the ship, but then changed their mind. “It has been decided the vessel will be released after the ship decided to change its destination and will not go to Syria,” Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said. “It was established that there was no violation of the relevant EU restrictions on Syria,” the Cyprus Foreign Ministry said in a statement. (document)

UPDATE: Ship with Russian ammunition arrived to Syria

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