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Russian Ship With Syria Arms Turns Back

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague (left) has told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that all defense shipments to Syria must stop.
The Russian vessel "Alaed," which was believed to be carrying repaired attack helicopters to Syria, has turned back for Russia, according to British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Hague told British lawmakers on June 19 that the ship had "turned back apparently toward Russia."

The British-based insurer Standard Club that provided coverage for the "Alaed" released a statement earlier in the day saying the vessel was "carrying munitions destined for Syria" in clear breach of the company's rules.

Standard Club said it was suspending insurance coverage of the "Alaed" based on that breach.

Britain's Foreign Office earlier confirmed that it was aware that a ship carrying a consignment of refurbished Russian-made attack helicopters was heading to Syria.

It said Foreign Secretary Hague had told Russia's foreign minister that all defense shipments to Syria must stop.

In related news, a senior U.S. lawmaker has called on the administration of President Barack Obama to impose financial sanctions on Russian arms exporting monopoly Rosoboronexport over its weapons shipments to Syria.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican-Florida), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement on June 19 that "Rosoboronexport's actions blatantly undermine U.S. national security interests and violate U.S. law."

Based on reporting by Interfax, AP, and RFE/RL