Press Release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the Chariot ship
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces the following regarding the docking of the Chariot cargo ship in the Limassol harbor area:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed by the Customs Authority yesterday, January 10 2012, in the afternoon, that the cargo ship Chariot had anchored in the Limassol harbor area for refueling.
Cyprus was not the destination of the vessel but it was obliged to seek refuge and fuel in Limassol due to bad weather conditions it encountered at sea.
The ship carries the flag of St. Vincent and The Grenadines, and is owned by Westberg Ltd. (St. Petersburg, Russia), a Russian shipping company.
The ship departed from the port of St. Petersburg on December 9 2011.
The Customs and Ports Authorities of the Republic of Cyprus carried out the procedures as dictated by the law and examined the documents of the ship and the cargo. Moreover, external checks of the four containers and of the electric generator on board were also carried out. Actual examination of the content of the containers was not possible due to the narrow confines of the ship. It was concluded that the ship carried dangerous cargo with destination to Syria and Turkey.
The relevant authorities prevented the refueling and departure of the ship from its Limassol anchorage until the situation was clarified. Following coordinated efforts by the relevant authorities, the owners of the aforementioned ship decided to change the destination of the cargo. Moreover, the Regulations and Decisions of the Council of the European Union relevant to the restrictions concerning the situation in Syria, were taken into account. It was concluded that the relevant European Union restrictions are not being violated.
As a result, the necessary procedures were put in place and permission was granted for the refueling and departure of the ship.