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Georgia Impounds Russian-Crewed Ship In Black Sea

TBILISI – The Georgian coast guard has impounded a ship with a Russian crew in its coastal waters near the Black Sea port of Batumi, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Officials of Georgia's border police told RFE/RL that the ship, sailing under a Cambodian flag, was stopped on April 6 on its way from the Turkish port of Hopa to Azov in Russia.

A spokesman for Georgia's border service, Londa Tolordava, said the ship was sailing in territory where foreign vessels are not allowed.

She said the impounded ship is now anchored in Batumi, and 14 Russian crew members are barred from leaving the port until a court decision is reached.

Tolordava said that the ship’s owners might face a fine of $20,000-30,000.