OSCE mission barred from access to the Russian flagged tanker detained in Kherson port
The OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) was prevented from accessing the Russia flagged Mekhanik Pogodin tanker (owner VEB Leasing, operator V.F. Tanker) by a Ukraine’s SBU officer, the SMM said in its 19 August report.
“On 17 August, the SMM followed up on reports of the Mekhanik Pogodin tanker moored in a port in the south-western outskirts of Kherson city. At the entrance gate of an oil terminal on Marii Fortus Street, a man, who introduced himself as a member of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), told the SMM that it needed to obtain prior permission from the port authorities to access the facility,” the SMM report said.
The SMM says it will follow up on this matter.
The m/v Mechanic Pogodin flying the flag of the Russian Federation called at the Port of Kherson on August 10. The oil tanker was moored and was not allowed to offload a cargo of oil products. The Kherson harbor master barred the vessel from leaving the port and the tanker was detained. Later, the Russian human rights ombudsman Tatyana Moskalkova asked Lyudmila Denisova to check the condition of the crew. The Mekhanik Pogodin's captain who is still on the ship has filed a protest in connection with the illegal detension of the tanker. Later reports said that following the Kiev's order the ship will be detained for three years.