The U.S. is investigating the entry of an oil tanker with unsanctioned cargo into the Georgian port of Batumi, said U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan, Novosti-Gruziya reported.
“Of course, we are looking at this issue, this is a very important topic, everyone is following such activities, we are working with government agencies, customs and the revenue service,” she said.
According to the U.S. ambassador, they will continue to "closely monitor all attempts to circumvent sanctions." Degnan said that the serious attitude of the Georgian government is "very important" in this process.
On Sunday, the Turkish-flagged tanker carrying up to 30,000 tons belonging to a Russian company was reported by the opposition TV station Mtavari. Journalists interpreted the incident as an attempt to use Georgia to bypass international sanctions, and admitted that the Georgian authorities were involved.
The Georgian government confirmed that the ship entered the Batumi port, stating that neither the ship nor its owner is listed in the international sanctions list. The Ministry of Finance claims that it was only after checking the documentation that it turned out that the ship was carrying unsanctioned cargo. As a result, the tanker was turned around and not allowed to ship.