On the evening of June 15, Turkish authorities released a cargo ship stopped earlier that day on suspicion of carrying components for Russian missiles scheduled to be delivered to Cyprus. (See yesterday’s Monitor) According to a Turkish Foreign Ministry official, the release of the ship, which carried the Maltese flag, came after Turkish officials had ascertained that the seven rocket launchers found on the vessel were destined for Egypt. The decision to release the ship was reportedly reached at an emergency meeting of the Turkish cabinet. (Itar-Tass, UPI, June 16) Although it proved to be a false alarm, the seizure and search of the Maltese ship by Turkish authorities–and their strong reaction to the discovery of the missile components–underscored again Ankara’s determination to stop deployment of the Russian S-300 air defense missiles in Cyprus.
RUSSIAN ACCOUNTING CHAMBER ATTACKS BUDGET PRACTICES.