This photo of the cargo ship "Alaed" was taken by BarentsObserver on Sunday evening in the Kola bay outside Roslyakovo. The ship is anchored here after it had to return to Russia due to its loss of insurance for carrying military cargo. Photo: Thomas Nilsen.
In the military harbor of Roslyakovo, north of Murmansk, the disputed cargo ship “Alaed” is now anchored awaiting its new departure under Russian flag.
As BarentsObserver reported on Friday, the ”Alaed” became the centerpiece in an international scandal, after Western intelligence data indicated that the ship was involved in the controversial weapons trade with Syria.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed that the ship carried three old helicopters of the MI25-type, and that they were bound for Syria. The helicopters had been repaired in Russia and the repair job was part of an old agreement, made before the conflicts grew in Syria, according to Lavrov.
In the North Sea, north of Scotland, the “Alaed“ made a U-turn and went back to the port of Murmansk, due to that the British Insurance company withdrew the ship’s insurance.
The Roslyakovo port is a military area between Murmansk and Severomorsk, where also the submarine Yekaterinburg was I dry dock when it caught fire on the 29th of December last year. Normally a cargo ship would sail past this harbor area and anchor in the port of Murmansk, while this one has stopped in Roslyakovo clearly indicating that the “Alaed” is not carrying a normal cargo.
The ship has up to now been registered in the Caribbean island of Coracau. According to Russia Today it will be reflagged and dispatched to Russia’s far eastern port of Vladivostok
“The change will help avert the vessel’s interception and seizure in neutral waters, which is a potential hazard when sailing under the flag of a third country, says Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, the president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems to Russia Today.
However, it is yet not known how long time it will take before the “Alaed” has changed its nationality and is ready to leave port.