London, June 19: A Russian ship believed to be carrying helicopters and missiles for Syria has been effectively stopped off the coast of Scotland after its insurance was cancelled at the request of the British Government.
British marine insurer Standard Club said it had withdrawn insurance from all ships owned by Femco, a Russian cargo line, including the MV Alaed.
“We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria,” The Telegraph quoted the company, as saying in a statement.
“We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage,” the company said.
British security officials confirmed that they had told Standard Club that providing insurance to the shipment was likely to be a breach of European Union sanctions against the Syrian regime.
They said they were continuing to monitor the ship, which has been the subject of a fierce international row since US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week revealed it was adding to the arsenal of weaponry available for Assad to use against rebellious Syrian towns.
The MV Alaed picked up its cargo of Mi25 helicopters, known as “flying tanks”, from the Russian port of Kaliningrad, where they had been sent to the state-owned manufacturer Mil’s ‘Factory 150′ for servicing and repairs. (ANI)