LONDON — France on Saturday intercepted and seized a Russian vessel in the English Channel in line with new EU sanctions against Moscow, according to multiple media reports.
The cargo ship was bound for St. Petersburg and was transporting cars, but French sea police redirected the vessel to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France.
It is “strongly suspected of being linked to Russian interests targeted by the sanctions,” said Captain Veronique Magnin of the French Maritime Prefecture, according to Reuters, with reports that the ship is owned by a Russian businessman who is on the EU’s list of sanctioned inviduals.
Reports say that the vessel is called the “Baltic Leader” and the crew were cooperating with the authorities.
The Russian RIA news agency said that the Russian embassy in France had immediately contacted the French authorities for clarification.