Russian authorities reported denying entry to a Turkish-flagged cargo ship planning to head to Rostov-on-Don, passing through the Kerch Strait.
On Thursday, amid escalating tensions between Kiev and Moscow in the Black Sea, Russian security forces (FSB) claimed to have found “traces of explosives” on a Russian-bound cargo ship from Turkey.
According to the FSB statement, “explosive traces were detected in the hold of the cargo ship BMO RIVER and on the surface of a lifeboat on July 26,” leading to the denial of entry into Russian territorial waters.
Was the Ship Carrying Explosives?
As per the report by French BFMTV, the ship had departed from Sinop port in Turkey and was heading to Rostov-on-Don, Russia, for a “grain shipment,” passing through the Kerch Strait that separates Crimea, which has been annexed by Russia.
Security units added, “It was determined that the ship had visited Ukraine’s Reni port twice in June and July.” This port, situated near the Tuna River in the Odessa region, had recently experienced Russian attacks.
According to the FSB, the detection was made during counter-terrorism operations, and the ship might have been used to “transport explosives to Ukraine.”
On Monday, the FSB announced finding traces of explosives on another cargo ship departing from Turkey on July 22, also bound for Rostov-on-Don through the Kerch Strait.
The Black Sea remains at the center of increased tensions following Russia’s withdrawal from the international Grain Corridor Agreement for Ukraine’s grain exports last week.
Both Moscow and Kiev have warned that ships sailing in the Black Sea could be targeted if they approach enemy ports.
Additionally, in recent days, Crimea, which was annexed, has been hit by a wave of unmanned aerial vehicle attacks, and the Russian military has intensified its assaults on ports and agricultural infrastructure in southern Ukraine, bordering the Black Sea.
ENSAR NUR – TR724