16 November 201813:16

Danish media whipping up hysteria about alleged secret arms shipments by Russian vessels

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On November 6, the Danish newspaper Information published an article, “Russian ships secretly transporting hazardous goods through the Great Belt.”

According to Information, the Russian cargo ship Sparta III (owned by the Russian state company Oboronlogistika), heading from St Petersburg to Haiphong, Vietnam, transported weapons through Danish waters without notifying the maritime authorities. The journalists claim that the Russian crew deliberately failed to declare the ship was loaded with military cargo. With reference to some experts, the Danish newspaper has thus planted the Russian arms smuggling topic, adding that other Russian ships are secretly transporting weapons with false documents. The Danish commentators and experts seem especially outraged by Russian smugglers’ choice of that country’s waters.

The Danish Ministry of Defence has responded to this fake. It promptly issued a comment refuting the Information’s report. The military explained to the general public what seafarers know as common truth: the open sea corridors used by the cargo ships mentioned in the article are international waters, and the only place where the Danish authorities had to be notified was the Great Belt strait.

The Sparta III did not violate the procedure for entering data into the international Automatic Identification System (AIS) either, the Danish ministry stressed. The crew provided the necessary information before entering the Great Belt strait in full compliance with international rules. The Danish ministry even pointed out to Information the obvious flaws in its journalistic probe – only the ships’ names, their type and route are entered in the AIS, and there are no requirements to enter information about the cargo.

This time, the anti-Russia fake was exposed by specialists from the Danish Ministry of Defence. All that is left for us to do is to note the low level of professional training of this Danish media outlet’s commentators.

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