Russia removed weapons from Syria for war with Ukraine, bypassing sanctions – Bloomberg

At the end of July, Russia removed weapons and military equipment from Syria on the Sparta II merchant ship. Thus, the country bypassed the ban on the movement of warships through the Bosporus and Dardanelles, introduced by Turkey since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. Bloomberg writes about this, citing sources in the US government and European intelligence, as well as satellite images.

"Sparta II" belongs to the company "Oboronlogistics" controlled by the Russian Ministry of Defense, which fell under US sanctions. In July, a merchant ship calmly passed the Bosporus on its way from the Syrian port of Tartus and arrived in Novorossiysk, carrying at least 11 pieces of military equipment. Agency sources claim that Russia has repeatedly used merchant ships to transport weapons and military equipment across the Black Sea, bypassing sanctions imposed by Turkey.

The representative of the US State Department sent inquiries to the Turkish government on this matter. A Turkish official familiar with the situation says the merchant ship will only be inspected if a wrongdoing is suspected. A White House spokesman declined to say whether the US had spoken to Turkish officials about a possible arms shipment by Russian merchant ships.

This is not the first time Russia has been suspected of circumventing sanctions imposed since the start of the war. In July, CNN, citing sources, reported that the Russian Federation was stealing gold in Sudan with the help of the Wagner PMC, disguising the export of the precious metal as the export of cookies, in order to financially support the war in Ukraine. Senior Sudanese and US officials have said that Russia wants to protect itself from the impact of harsh Western sanctions through such a scheme.

The Insider also wrote how Russia manages to bypass the oil embargo on the import of Russian oil by sea and increase profits. The Russian Federation exports oil in circumvention of sanctions with the help of a small port in Egypt: tankers unload Urals oil at the El Hamra terminal, hiding the origin of the raw material and its destination, Bloomberg reported .

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