18 April 2012
Question for written answer E-004020/2012
to the Commission (Vice-President / High Representative)
Marietje Schaake (ALDE)
Subject: VP/HR – German ship carrying Iranian arms for Syrian regime
On Friday, 14 April 2012 it was reported that a German-owned ship registered in Antigua and Barbados, the Atlantic Cruiser, which was carrying weapons from Iran, had been stopped near the Syrian port of Tartus. The ship was allegedly stocked in the Port of Djibouti with military equipment and munitions meant for the Syrian regime. The ship is reportedly owned by the carrier Reederei Bockstiegel Emden. According to Hamburg-based C.E.G. Bulk Chartering GmbH, the ship was chartered by the Ukraine-based company White Whale Shipping. Reportedly, the ship attempted to refuel in the Cypriot port of Limassol, but was turned away, and for 24 hours could not be tracked through its transponder. In January 2012 a similar story was reported, about which I have asked questions and called for a clear statement, which to date has not been given. This incident raises serious concerns regarding both the ability and the efforts of the Member States to implement binding restrictive measures.
1. Can the Vice-President/High Representative confirm the aforementioned reports of the imminent supply of weapons and munitions, in clear breach of current EU sanctions? If not, why not?
2. Was the Vice-President/High Representative notified by those Member States through whose waters the Atlantic Cruiser passed? If so, can she comment on the instructions or advice given to the authorities of the respective Member States?
3. Is the Vice-President/High Representative willing to conduct an urgent investigation into this matter, in particular regarding the conduct of the German authorities, with the aim of deciding whether punitive measures are appropriate? If not, why not?
4. Has the Vice-President/High Representative been in contact with the German Economics Ministry, the Government of Antigua and Barbados, all the Member States concerned and neighbouring countries with a view to ensuring that the weapons and munitions do not reach the Syrian port of Tartus? If not, why not?
5. What action will the Vice-President/High Representative take to ensure that the Member States are effectively implementing and enforcing EU sanctions?
6. Is the Vice-President/High Representative willing to conduct an investigation into how, and whether, the Member States effectively implement and enforce all EU sanctions, and to report to Parliament on the findings of this investigation? If not, why not?
7. Can the Vice-President/High Representative explain why no answers have been given to my previous questions relating to the similar incident involving a Russian ship, which were also raised by Parliament in its resolution of 16 February 2012 on the situation in Syria ? If not, why not?
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0057.