Four Crewmembers Remain on Hijacked Freighter in Mediterranean

Nor does it explain the ongoing odyssey of the Arctic Sea. At first, the Russian authorities announced that, after the investigation was complete, the ship would sail for the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. But then there was talk of Las Palmas. And now the freighter is anchored just inside the Mediterranean, 65 miles (104 kilometers) east of Gibraltar.

Algeria, where the ship was originally supposed to be heading with its load of lumber, refuses to allow the Arctic Sea to enter any of its ports. Malta, where the Russians wanted to turn over the ship to Arctic Sea Ltd., also refuses to accept the vessel. As one spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry says, all countries have "set up conditions that are unrealistic given the current circumstances."

The Maltese, Spaniards and Algerians had reportedly insisted that the Russians adhere to transfer protocols that would help clarify legal and financial claims. Matveyev, the ship's owner, has tallied up his losses to date. According to his estimates, the Arctic Sea drama has already cost him €716,486 ($1.07 million). Meanwhile, in Arkhangelsk, Yelena Sarezkaya is still waiting for the drama to end well.

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