Poland ‘monitoring situation’ as Russian ship on Baltic: spokeswoman
PR dla Zagranicy
The Polish foreign ministry is monitoring the situation as a Russian training vessel sails through the Baltic Sea after being barred from entering the territorial waters of Estonia, a spokeswoman has said.
The Sedov training ship was reportedly headed toward the Polish coastline to stock up on fuel, water and food, according to Poland's onet.pl news website.
A Polish news agency reported that the Estonian capital Tallinn was supposed to be one of the planned stops for the Russian sailboat.
But the four-masted sailboat was not allowed to enter Estonia’s territorial waters because it has on board more than 70 students from the Kerch State Maritime Technological University, an institution of higher education headquartered in Ukraine's Russian-annexed Crimea peninsula, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The Polish port of Gdańsk was supposed to be another planned stop on the cruise, the IAR news agency reported late on Thursday, citing Estonian and Russian news media.
A spokeswoman for the Polish foreign ministry, Ewa Suwara, told IAR that Polish authorities were in contact with partners in Estonia.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in touch with the Estonian authorities," Suwara said, adding that the Polish foreign ministry was “monitoring the situation.”
The Sedov set sail for the cruise—its 100th—on April 6 from the port of Svetly in Russia’s westernmost region of Kaliningrad, according to IAR.
At 117 metres in length and 15 metres in width, the Russian sailboat, which was built in 1921, is the largest training sailing ship in the world, the Polish news agency reported.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March 2014 after a referendum that the Ukrainian authorities and the West said was illegal. Earlier, Russian soldiers in unmarked uniforms seized strategic facilities on the peninsula from the Ukrainian army and local authorities.
Russia last year seized three Ukrainian navy ships in the Kerch Strait, a body of water near the annexed Crimea peninsula.
The Polish foreign minister said in December that there was a deepening dispute between Russia and Western countries over developments affecting the international community.
Source: IAR, onet.pl