The transfer comes after the EU adopted unprecedented sanctions towards Russia

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French naval forces have intercepted within the Channel a cargo vessel loaded with automobiles heading for Russia’s Baltic port metropolis of Saint Petersburg after sanctions agreed by the EU towards Russia, officers mentioned Saturday.

The Russian-flagged Baltic Chief, which had set sail from the French metropolis of Rouen, was escorted to the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer by French forces, the maritime prefecture informed AFP. It’s suspected of belonging to an organization focused by EU sanctions towards Moscow, it added.

It was stopped by a French customs patrol vessel backed by a police surveillance ship and a patrol boat of the navy, mentioned Veronique Magnin of the regional prefecture.

The 127-metre (417-foot) vessel is “strongly suspected of being linked to Russian pursuits focused by sanctions,” she mentioned, including that whereas such a measure was “uncommon” it’s “an indication of “firmness”.

The transfer comes after the European Union on Thursday adopted unprecedented sanctions towards Russian people, corporations and different entities to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the Russian embassy in Paris informed the TASS information company the boat’s captain had telephoned the embassy, which then contacted the French authorities to ask for an evidence of the incident.

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