The ship, which is loaded with Russian-made Mi-25 helicopter gunships as well as anti-aircraft weaponry and other equipment, will on Saturday 23 June arrive in Murmansk where it will drop its Curacao flag and re-register as a Russian ship, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich confirmed in a press conference on Thursday.
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. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Russia Today confirms that the ship is loaded with weapons for Syria, but stresses that the shipment is part of a long-term contract and that it is fully entitled to deliver the goods.
Meanwhile, the Femco company rejects any involvement in the Syria case at all. In a press release, the company underlines that the ”Alead” was carrying humanitarian foodstuff and that it never entered any Syrian port.
The Russian cargo ship earlier this week performed an about-turn in the North Sea after its British insurance company withdrawing the ship’s insurance policy. The ship was on its way from Sankt Petersburg. The change of flag in Murmansk is expected to make it possible for the ship to complete its orginal mission.