Cargo vessel carrying cars heading towards Russia’s Baltic port city of Saint Petersburg was intercepted by the French naval forces in the English Channel after sanctions agreed by the EU against Russia on Saturday.
According to the maritime prefecture, on being suspected of belonging to a company targeted by EU sanctions against Moscow, the Russian hailed Baltic Leader, headed out from the French city of Rouen, was escorted to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer by the French force. However, it was halted by a French customs patrol vessel backed by a police surveillance ship and a patrol boat of the navy.
Video: Ship reportedly hit twice by Missile, crew members seriously injured.
The 127-meter vessel is strongly suspected of being associated with Russian interests designated by sanctions. However, the regional prefecture stated that such rare measures are a sign of firmness. This move followed the adoption of unprecedented sanctions against Russian individuals, firms, and other entities to penalize Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine by the European Union.
A representative for the Russian embassy in Paris told a news agency that the boat’s captain had contacted the embassy, which then contacted the French authorities to clarify the incident and their actions.