The MV Alaed, currently in the North Sea, is believed to be carrying a cargo of Mil Mi-25 attack helicopters en route to Syria© RIA Novosti. Ilia Pytalev
MOSCOW, June 19 (RIA Novosti)
A British marine insurer has withdrawn cover from a Russian ship believed to be carrying overhauled combat helicopters to Syria, after finding out there were weapons on-board.
The MV Alaed, currently in the North Sea, is believed to be carrying a cargo of Mil Mi-25 attack helicopters en route to Syria from Russia as well as coastal-based anti-ship missiles. Russian cargo line Femco, which owns the MV Alaed, says the insurer, Standard Club, has suspended cover on its ships.
Standard Club told RIA Novosti in a statement, "We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage." It added that it had taken the course of action after being made aware of allegations about the cargo and destination of the MV Alaed.
"We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria," the insurer said.
According to the FEMCO website, the MV Alaed’s commercial management and chartering is carried out by Copenhagen-based United Nordic Shipping. It said in a statement on its website that the contract with United Nordic Shipping had been cancelled.
"By mutual agreement, the contract between the ship owner and United Nordic Shipping A/S for the commercial management of the MV Alaed was annulled today, on Monday June 18, without actually coming into force," Femco said in a statement on its website.
Standard Club denied that the move was made at the behest of the British government. "There was no pressure at all from the UK government that I am aware of," a company spokesman said.
Britain’s Daily Telegraph says British security officials told Standard Club it would be breaching an EU arms embargo, imposed last year, if it provided cover to a ship making weapons deliveries. Without insurance cover, the vessel would be unable to put into port. The Telegraph added that the United Kingdom government was notified last week by the US government that the insurance was provided by a British insurer.
The helicopters became the center of a diplomatic row last week, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claiming Russia was supplying weapons that would be used to massacre civilian protesters.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied the claim, saying the helicopters had originally been supplied in the Soviet-era and were being returned to Syria under an existing contract. He also said military equipment being supplied to Syria was defensive in nature and could not be used against civilians.
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- lmTaking Russia apart.15:35, 19/06/2012Same thing i was saying Putin cannot trust the West even for a second.
- severnayazemlyaTartus, Syria same as Gibraltar21:36, 19/06/2012Russia is allowed to protect its naval base at Tartus, Syria. It's the same as the U.K. protecting its naval base at Gibraltar.
- lmA BIG SLAP IN THE FACE PUTIN NOT EVEN BACK HOME.22:57, 19/06/2012This is a major slap in Putin’s and Russia face make no mistakes about it as I have said before the West will use whatever it takes to spit on Russia, this is a wakeup call because they will do the same with weapons Russia seeks to buy aboard they have done it before to other countries who do not toe there line.
The UAV’s Russia is buying from Israel is only good to use in Russia in time of war/conflict against the West these same UAV’s will become blind.
Russia cannot afford to let Syria and Iran go down this is Russia’s last stand because I believe Russia is in the middle of a high stakes game and loosing is not something the Kremlin can afford, Russia stands to win big by standing up since this has far reaching consequences for Russia.
Make no mistake none at all, Russia is next in line should they cave in on Syria and Iran because with these two countries lost the next war is in the Caucasus, and who knows maybe plans are already underway there waiting on the day to launch attacks, Georgia will feel compel to re-launch attacks to reclaim its so called territories. So Russia has to nip this cancer forming in the bud.
The West does what it does best use and exploit useful idiots Russian opposition are an example.
Russia has to move troops into its base in Syria no debilitation of consequences or criticism must be entertained.
Russia has to strengthen its bases in the former Soviets states and be prepared fully prepared at once.
Russia has to take over this Syria conflict from the stand point of providing logistic, military advice, and insuring a seal around Syria borders.
Russia has to have thousand of men on standby fully arm ready to go.
Russia cannot be afraid of the consequences because none action will lead to actions on Russia’s back yard this is inevitable.
The political will all must be on board when Russia security it at stake.
Russia has to provide insurance or send the repaired cargo via military transport, question are Russia Navy ships insured in West?
Even in a meeting in Mexico the West is working behind Putin’s back and Putin is all smiles in Mexico.
Russia has to drop the political diplomatic niceties and draw a line that must not be crossed.
Russia will lose and be damage politically in the world should Russia capitulate.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.