News comes from Fairplay that the long saga of the ARCTIC ROSE is nearing endgame:

Arctic Sea docked in Malta

ARCTIC Sea is docked today in Valletta Grand Harbour, where repairs are expected to be carried out at Malta Shipyards.

Maltese tug Mari towed the Maltese-registered cargo ship into port yesterday because its steering mechanism needs fixing. The ship was involved in an international crisis when it was apparently hijacked in European waters this summer.

It is alongside at Boiler Wharf, after Malta’s Civil Protection Department found the ship to be free of any radioactive residues or dangerous chemicals.

Earlier yesterday the vessel was handed over by Russian authorities to its owners just outside Maltese territorial waters, the Malta Maritime Authority told reporters.

When asked whether they believed a hijacking of Arctic Sea had ever taken place, the MMA officials said they had no evidence to show otherwise and confirmed that hijacking suspects would be prosecuted in Russia under international law.

The vessel was seized by the Russian navy off Cape Verde on 16 August – by which time international rumours about illicit cargo were commonplace. The Malta officials yesterday denied any contact with Israeli authorities. – Fairplay

OK, so not too interesting. However, strategists normally concern themselves with how to take things. The problem in this case turned out to be how to get rid of the ship once the Russians decided that they no longer wanted it.

Posted by FFry in Navy
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