Russian Freighter Detained Off Georgia Coast

By The Maritime Executive 2012-03-19 15:14:10

A Russian cargo ship has been detained by Georgia’s coast guard in the Black Sea. Authorities claim that the vessel violated navigation rules.

The Pur-Navolok was stopped near the Turkish border in the Sarpi Sea region. All 10 Russian crew members are being held in custody. The Russian Interests Section with the Embassy of Switzerland in Tbilisi is providing consular assistance to the Pur-Navolok crew.

The ship’s owner, Belomor Freight Jsc., states that the freighter was delivering coal to Hopa, Turkey from the Ukraine’s port of Kerch. During their voyage, the Georgian coast guard made the arrest as the vessel was waiting for clearance to enter Hopa.

The freighter and its 10-man Russian crew are currently stationed in Batumi. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian Interests Section with the Embassy of Switzerland in Georgia is now trying to determine the conditions of the ship’s imprisonment and to provide consular assistance to its crew.

However, these countries do have history. BusinessWeek reported that Georgia lost a five-day war against Russia in 2008 over the breakaway republic of South Ossetia. Russia later recognized the region and Abkhazia, another separatist republic, as independent. Georgia still deems them part of its territory.