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Kuģis "Asian Majesty" arvien Rīgas jūras līcī

Sanctioned cargo ship still stuck in Rīga waters

In the Gulf of Rīga, a ship called Asian Majesty with 55,000 tonnes of potassium chloride has been stuck since March  due to sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs. The fertilizer on board belongs to a firm subject to sanctions imposed on Kremlin-affiliated businessman Dmitry Mazepin, Latvian Television reported October 25.

Latvian Television broadcast “De Facto” reported in September that the ship itself could leave the territory of Latvia but the cargo on it is considered to be a frozen economic resource. Its value is set at around $17 million. As explained by the responsible authorities, the situation on the ship remains unchanged.

According to the State Environmental Service (VVD), the cargo of fertilizers does not pose a risk from an environmental point of view, and therefore the VVD does not intend to provide instructions to the ship to leave the port area of Rīga.

Deputy Director General of VVD Evija Šmite said: “Until now, the captain of the ship has not reported any risks or hazards to the cargo or ship. Consequently, we also have reasonable grounds to conclude that neither the ship nor the cargo is in danger, and therefore no environmental risks exist."

For several months, at least five institutions – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Environmental Service, the Finance and Capital Market Commission, the State Revenue Service, and the Riga Free Port Board – have been looking for a solution to what to do with the ship and its cargo. However, there is still no solution. Customs have offered to load the cargo in one of the warehouses in the European Union. The “Riga Fertilizer terminal” cannot take the cargo back since its equipment is intended solely for loading vessels but not for unloading.

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