Reuters says Russia smuggling jet fuel into Syria despite EU sanctions

Russian tankers have smuggled jet fuel to Syria through EU waters, bolstering military supplies to a war-torn country where Moscow is carrying out air strikes in support of the government, according to sources with knowledge of the matter, Reuters reports.

At least two Russian-flagged ships made deliveries – which contravene EU sanctions – via Cyprus, an intelligence source with a European Union government told Reuters.

There was a sharp increase in shipments in October, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

A separate shipping source familiar with the movements of the Russian-flagged vessels said the ships visited Cypriot and Greek ports before delivering fuel to Syria.

Greece`s foreign ministry referred questions to the shipping ministry, which was not immediately available to comment.

The Cypriot government said its authorities had not approved the docking of any Russian tankers carrying jet fuel bound for Syria.

”We would welcome any information that may be provided to us on any activity that contravenes U.N. or EU restrictive measures,” the Cypriot foreign ministry added.

In a comment following the publication Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said restrictions inside the European Union on supplies of fuel to Syria had nothing to do with the air group of the Russian Aerospace Forces in that country, according to TASS.

”Intrigues, restrictions and sanctions on fuel supplies to the Syrian Arab Republic in effect inside the European Union don`t concern the air group of the Russian Aerospace Forces to put it mildly,” he said.

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