British insurer cuts coverage for Russian ships

In line with EU sanctions, Standard Club cuts insurance for Russian ships suspected of ferrying weapons to Syria's Assad.

June 19, 2012 14:45
1 minute read.
Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin meet at the Kremlin in Moscow, December 2006.

Assad and Putin 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/FILE)

British insurer Standard Club, in line with European Union sanctions, has ended coverage of a Russian cargo line conducting business with the Syrian government, the Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday. Among the newly-uninsured ships is the MV Alaed, which the report added, is hosting a large arsenal of weaponry purchased by the Syrian regime, including Mi25 attack helicopters.

"We were made aware of the allegations that the Alaed was carrying munitions destined for Syria," the Telegraph quoted Standard Club as saying. "We have already informed the ship owner that their insurance cover ceased automatically in view of the nature of the voyage."

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British security officials said they were continuing to monitor the ship, which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed to be transporting weapons to Assad for use against Syrian rebels and civilians.

According to the Telegraph, the MV Alaed picked up its cargo, including the Mi25 helicopters nicknamed "flying tanks" from Kaliningrad Port in Russia.

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Upon sailing en route to Syria, the ship was flagged down near the Dutch coast, whereupon it made an abrupt turn and headed for Scotland.

Moscow has been a main backer of the Syrian regime, providing embattled President Bashar Assad with extensive political coverage by deflecting international attempts to issue United Nations resolutions against the regime.

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