German customs detains ship loaded with sanctioned Russian uranium, lumber

German customs agents in the port city of Rostock have detained a cargo ship for the past few weeks that is loaded with 40 million euros ($43 million) of sanctioned Russian uranium and lumber, the German newspaper Ostsee Zeitung reported on April 2.

The cargo ship, named Atlantic Navigator II, is registered in the Marshall Islands, but has a largely Russian crew. It was forced to stop in Rostock due to propeller damage, where it encountered trouble with German customs agents due to its cargo of sanctioned goods.

The cargo is reportedly intended for the U.S., which imports a considerable amount of uranium from abroad. The U.S. has not sanctioned Russian lumber or uranium, although Congress passed a bill in December 2023 to ban the import of Russian uranium.

Sources from Rostock's prosecutor's office told Ostsee Zeitung that the ship's captain was under investigation for potentially violating sanctions.

It is unclear when or if the ship will be allowed to leave or if its cargo will be allowed to go with it.

The Marshall Islands, a tiny country in the Pacific, is a popular place for Russian cargo ships to use as a base for business, including for the potential circumvention of sanctions.

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