A Russian dry-cargo vessel unloads helicopters repaired for Syria at Baltiisk

The Russian dry-cargo vessel, the Alaed, has unloaded the Mil MI-25 helicopters, repaired for Syria, at the port of Baltiisk, a source close to the port management told Interfax.

"Three helicopters were unloaded from the Alaed during a brief stay at Baltiisk. The helicopters are likely to be moved to the 150th Aircraft Repair Plant in the town of Lyublino-Novoye outside Kaliningrad, where they will be kept pending other decisions," he said.

Interfax was told at the plant's reception office that the management were not in and that no comments could be provided.

Reports said earlier that the Alaed departed from Baltiisk on July 18. It switched on its AIS monitoring system providing the ships location, and then switched it off again. The ship's speed was 12 knots when it went off the AIS online map. It was sailing in the northwestern direction.

The FEMCO shipping company, the Alaed's owner, said the ship was sailing to St. Petersburg where additional cargo could be loaded onto it. The ship would further go to the Far East, the company said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Ekho Moskvy radio earlier that, "the ship was carrying air defense systems that can only be used to rebuff external aggression, not against peaceful demonstrators." Lavrov confirmed that the ship was carrying three repaired helicopters.

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