French officials claim that marines patrolling the English Channel area have intercepted a cargo ship sailing under the Russian flag and escorted it to the port of Boulogne-Sur-Mer for an investigation. What is more, unconfirmed information wants two ships to have been detained by the Russian Navy in proximity to Snake Island.
he interception of the ship by French officials was triggered by financial sanctions levied days ago against Russia for its invasion of the Ukraine. Maritime spokesperson Veronique Magnin said it appeared to be the first such action in the English Channel.
Customs officials carrying out the investigation verified that the vessel is linked to Russian financial interests. France has given maritime officials the power to intercept vessels suspected of contravening the sanctions.
What is more, Dryad noted that unconfirmed reporting indicates that two vessels have been detained by the Russian Navy in proximity to Snake Island, while sailing in Romanian waters, and directed towards the Crimea peninsula.
According to a statement by the Ukrainian government, Russian navy vessels have captured two Ukrainian civilian vessels. The statement points out that this is in defiance with norms and convention of international law.
It also adds that the first vessel as the Ukrainian flagged Athena, who was reportedly sailing in Romanian waters when, 22nm off Snake Island, it received a command to approach a Russian warship for inspection. The shipowner of the Athena immediately informed all the competent authorities in Ukraine.
Another ship is believed to have been detained after a sharp and illogical change of course was recorded. The Ukrainian flagged Princess Nicole’s AIS data was also showing a course towards Snake Island.
When both civilian vessels approached the Russian warships, their AIS were turned off and communication stopped. This morning, AIS data indicated that they are now staying 18nm off the coast of Crimea.
Furthermore, AIS data also shows 7 vessels, including the aforementioned, being stopped in proximity to Snake Island All vessels u-turned between 09:00UTC and 11:35UTC.
Footage appears to show one of the other 5 vessels halted, the Panama flagged Bulk carrier LORD NELSON passing the Bosporus strait with light damage on the vessel hull. It is unclear how this damage was sustained and whether this was sustained at the same time that the PRINCESS NICOLE and AFINA were reportedly detained by the Russian Navy.