Ukraine Outraged Turkey Opened Straits For Russian Ship Carrying S-300 System

Ukraine has voiced its anger with Turkey over allegedly allowing a Russian cargo ship through the Bosphorus Strait laden with weapons days ago, summoning the Turkish ambassador to lodge a formal complaint.  

The Ukrainian foreign ministry complained that a Russian "warship" was allowed passage in violation of the Montreux Convention - as the diplomatic note verbalized to Turkey's ambassador to Ukraine Yagmur Ahmet Guldere said, "according to the provisions of the Convention regarding the Regime of the Straits from 20 July 1936, the specified vessel falls under the definition of a warship for the purposes of this Convention."

Ukraine Outraged Turkey Opened Straits For Russian Ship Carrying S-300 System

Answers are being demanded over the specific items a Russian cargo ship was carrying, identified as the Sparta II, when it traversed the Bosphorus from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea.

According to widespread reports, which appear to have originated via open source analysts, including the Israeli private intelligence firm ImageSat Intl., Russia sent an S-300 anti-air battery from the Syrian coast back to Russia for possible use in Ukraine

The ship is purportedly carrying the battery for the S-300 surface-to-air missile system (SAM) through the strait, which Turkey closed to warships since Russia's initial invasion. Side-by-side satellite images tweeted by Israeli private intelligence firm ImageSat Intl. showed the former position of the S-300 battery in Syria, and the same location without the battery.

Naval News confirmed the ship's passage with a time-stamped image of the vessel in the narrow strait as it passed by Istanbul. The ship was already on a US Treasury black list, given that it "is understood to be owned by Oboronlogistika, which in effect means the Russian Ministry of Defense."

"The ship has specifically been added to the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanction list. The crew is civilian, but it’s cargo is often military," the maritime report noted.

Some observers are speculating that Russia needs the additional systems it has for years deployed in northwest Syria, particularly near Latakia, as it must reposition additional forces and hardware to repel Ukraine's fresh counteroffensive efforts focused on the south. 

Information in Reuters showed that the Sparta II departed Syria's coast on August 20, and maritime monitor Refinitiv Eikon indicated the vessel is now in Novorossiysk, a Russian Black Sea port close to Crimea.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from ZeroHedge.com)

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