The Russian arms ship at the center of a diplomatic row between Russia and the West is loading up with a new unknown cargo at the St. Petersburg port, according to a bulletin posted on the port’s website on Tuesday. Novosti news agency reports.
The Alaed docked at St. Petersburg on Friday after offloading Mi-25 helicopters in the Russian port of Baltiysk in the Kaliningrad region. There has been no word from the ship’s owner, Femco, about the nature of the new cargo. Femco previously said the documentation accompanying the cargo did not contain any data linking it to Syria.
The Alaed originally set sail from Baltiysk in June, reportedly carrying three Mi-25s and some air defense systems. The ship turned back to Russia later that month, after its insurance cover was suspended by its British insurer, Standard Club. It later turned back and entered the port of Murmansk, and was later re-flagged as a Russian registered vessel.
The U.S. Congress voted to break off all contacts with Russia’s state arms corporation Rosoboronexport on Thursday over concerns about Russia continuing to supply arms to Syria. Russia has maintained it is only fulfilling contracts signed before the current wave of unrest in Syria, and said last week it will not supply a batch of Yak-130 advanced jet trainers to Damascus.