Diplomats from Russia, Ukraine and Greece are trying to get in contact with the crew of the Temeteron, which was arrested in Libyan waters on Tuesday, accused of taking benzene illegally out of the country. The ship and crew were moved to Tripoli.
“The embassy staff, which is temporarily based in Tunis, is trying to quickly clarify the circumstances of the incident,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday.
Libya’s National Oil Company (NOC) has warned any ship taking fuel exports from organisations other than NOC will be arrested.
Libya has been in a bitter civil war for more than five years with rival factions laying claim to the nation’s vast oil wealth. Seafarers have often been in the firing line during this bitter fighting with ships strafed and arrested for taking cargoes deemed contraband.
Last September, another Russian tanker, Mekhanik Chebotarev, was arrested in Libyan waters.