Short URL: https://bit.ly/Shtandart-gulf-week
European sanctions prohibit all Russian ships from entering French ports. A second letter was sent to the organizers of « Gulf of Morbihan Week ». They are reminded of the risks, in particular criminal, to which they are exposed when using the services of the Russian frigate « Standart ».
To the attention of :
Mrs Valence Lemaistre,
Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan (Gulf of Morbihan Week)
PIBS – IRUS Building, Henri Becquerel street, 10
56000 Vannes (Brittany)
See copy distribution list after the letter.
Subject: reminder of the European regulation concerning the prohibition of Russian ships in French ports
Nantes, January 4, 2023
On December 15, 2022, we informed you of the risk faced by French organizations using the services of the Russian ship « Shtandart ».
We would like to point out to you that Mr. Michel Balique, President of « Les Amis des Grands Voiliers – Sail Training Association France », acting as the commercial agent of « Shtandart », is mistaken when he tells you that the sanctions only concern the ships belonging to the oligarchs and to the Russian state, or even being military ships. He sticks to the measures taken before the end of March 2022. That is before the evidences of the crimes in Bucha, Irpin, Mariupol, etc.
Since April 8, 2022, Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 has been updated by Article 3ea, http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg/2014/833/2022-10-07, in application of the 5th package of sanctions, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/04/08/eu-adopts-fifth-round-of-sanctions-against-russia-over-its-military-aggression-against-ukraine/
1. It shall be prohibited to provide access, after 16 April 2022, to ports and, after 29 July 2022, to locks in the territory of the Union, to any vessel registered under the flag of Russia, with the exception of access to locks for the purpose of leaving the territory of the Union.
It is true that until recently, in France, cases of circumvention of sanctions were observed concerning the Russian ship « Shtandart ». This practice of the fait accompli cannot set a precedent. Indeed, on 28 November 2022, the Council unanimously adopted a decision to add the violation of restrictive measures to the list of ‘EU crimes’ included in the Article 83(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. In this article, violation of sanctions will join: « terrorism, trafficking in human beings and sexual exploitation of women and children, illicit drug trafficking, illicit arms trafficking, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting of means of payment, computer crime and organised crime » https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2022/11/28/sanctions-council-adds-the-violation-of-restrictive-measures-to-the-list-of-eu-crimes/
We consider, it seems judicious for « La Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan » (Fr), to wait until the end of the war in Ukraine before employing the services of the Russian ship « Shtandart ». In the meantime, if the latter does not wish to return to Russia, it can legally visit the numerous maritime countries which do not apply sanctions.
Trusting the civic sense of the organizers of « La Semaine du Golfe du Morbihan », we send you our best wishes for the New Year and for the success of your event.
We would like to assure you, Dear Madam, of our highest consideration.
Bernard Grua, spokesperson
Copy distribution list:
- Ukrainian Embassy in France – His Excellency Mr. Vadym Omelchenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
- Honorary Consulate of Ukraine in Aquitaine – Mr.Laurent Fortin, Consul
- Permanent Parliamentary Delegation of Ukraine to the Council of Europe – Mr Oleksiy Goncharenko, MP
- Lviv City Council – Mr. Andriy Sadovyi, Mayor – Mr. Serhiy Kiral, First Deputy Mayor
- Union of Ukrainians in France – Mr. Jean-Pierre Pasternak, President
- Union of Ukrainians in Brittany – Ms. Irina Laskava, President
- Association Solidarité Bretagne Ukraine – Mrs Ivanna Baron, President
- Alliance Ukraine Bretagne – Mrs. Yulia Chambaudie, President
- Association United for Ukraine 56 – Mrs. Yana Ganuchaud,Secretary General
- Presvyata Pokrova – Breton Association of the chaika « Presvyata Pokrova », Pont-Aven – Mr. Laurent Lesiourd, President
- Cap Ukraine, Association for Ukrainian nationals support, Audierne – Mr. Nicolas Régnier, President
- Tryzub, Franco-Ukrainian Association of Nantes – Mrs. Anna Generaliuk, President
- Ukraine-Atlantic, Association of Ukrainians in Charente-Maritime – Mr. Oleksander Goron, President
- AUG Girasol, Association of Ukrainians in Galicia, Spain – Ms. Marta Skyba, President
- Kish, Cossack Cultural Association, Lviv – Mr. Taras Beniakh, President and Otaman of the chaika « Presvyata Pokrova »
- Mr. Roman Sushchenko, ex-Kremlin prisoner, Deputy Chairman of the Regional Council of Cherkassy Oblast
- Mr. Oleh Sentsov, film director, ex-Kremlin prisoner, soldier on the Donbass front
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Poster of « Gulf of Morbihan Week » 2023
Exhibit: first letter sent to « Gulf of Morbihan Week »
To the attention of :
Mrs Valence Lemaistre,
Gulf of Morbihan Week
- His Excellency Mr. Vadym Omelchenko
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to France
- Mr Jean-Pierre Pasternak
President of the Union of Ukrainians in France
- Mr. Roman Sushchenko, Cherkasy
- Mrs. Marta Skyba, Vigo
- Mr Oleksiy Goncharenko, Odessa
- Mr. Serhiy Kiral, Lviv
Spokesperson of “No Shtandart In Europe” committee
Nantes, December 15, 2022
Subject: Gulf of Morbihan week: the ship Shtandart falls within the scope of the fifth round of sanctions prohibiting the entry of Russian ships into European ports.
Unable to reach you by your organization’s phone number, which does not seem to be working today, we would like to inform you of the following.
We have learned that you plan to use the services of the Russian frigate « Shtandart » for your next « Gulf of Morbihan Week » event to be held from May 15 to 21, 2023. We believe this is an untimely decision and that is financially risky. Indeed, we take the liberty of informing you that « Shtandart » falls within the scope of the 5th package of sanctions voted unanimously by the Member States of the European Union, on April 8, 2022,. This text provides:
…a ban on giving access to EU ports to vessels registered under the Russian flag. Exemptions are granted for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid and energy…
You can observe that, contrary to what Michel Balique, president of the Association of « Friends of Tall Ships », Jean-François Fountaine, Mayor of La Rochelle, and Nicolas Basselier, prefect of Charente-Maritime, claim, the fifth section of sanctions does not concern « only certain categories of vessels », or even only the vessels of the « oligarchs » or those of the « Russian State ».
Our committee demonstrated on December 11, 2022 in La Rochelle to demand an end to the illegal presence of the Russian ship in this port and to obtain the effective application of the fifth round the sanctions. You will find the article of « Sud Ouest » newspaper which mentions it https://www.sudouest.fr/charente-maritime/la-rochelle/la-rochelle-environ-80-manifestants-contre-l-accueil-du-shtandart -13343088.php (Fr) and our press release https://bernardgrua.net/2022/12/14/la-rochelle-france-demonstration-for-enforcing-the-fifth-round-of-sanctions-against-russian-ships/
Even before the adoption of sanctions against Russian ships, Fabrice Loher, mayor of Lorient, decided that the « Shtandart » ship would not be present at the “Lorient Océans” festival, because “we do not know the nature of its links with the Russian state”. We will come back to it. Since the implementation of the 5th package of sanctions, the municipality of Bordeaux has canceled the participation of the ship in the festival « Bordeaux Fête Le vin », while the service of the Russian ship had already been the subject of a financial settlement. It was probably the same with regard to “Escales à Sète”, for which the ban was issued by the prefect of Herault.
The cancellation of the participation of the « Shtandart » in the « Ruta Iacobus Maris » of Vigo was pronounced the day before its arrival in this port following a letter addressed to various authorities, including the Junta de Galicia, by about forty representative organizations of the Ukrainian diaspora in Spain and in France, following the revelations of « El Faro de Vigo » https://bit.ly/shtandart-el-faro-vigo-en and following a demonstration by the Ukrainian community in Vigo. As a result, the stopover in La Coruña was also cancelled. The fate of Shtandart, in Spain, was sealed by a column that we published in « Galici@Press ». https://www.galiciapress.es/articulo/opinion/2022-07-31/3843303-fabula-anti -putin-permitio-fragata-rusa-shtandart-atracar-galicia (Es).
Today, only a few French ports in Europe are illegal with regard to the application of sanctions relating to Russian ships, including La Rochelle, where Russian influence networks are firmly established, within local and departmental authorities as well as in the regional press.
As such, we draw your attention to the « Shtandart’s tale », which aims to deceive French public opinion. By checking Russian sources, we have determined that « Shtandart » is a private Russian yacht owned, for 60%, by Vladimir Martus, its captain, through a screen entity called “Shtandart Project”. We have brought to light the fact that the « Shtandart » and its captain maintain close ties with Russian authorities. By way of example, we will mention a diplomatic representation mission held by the « Shtandart », in October 2021, under the high patronage of Vladimir Putin. https://mio.com.gr/publikatsii/eksklyuziv/pod-andreevskim-flagom-k-grecheskim-ostrovam (Ru). It was the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the naval victory of Çeşme in the Aegean Sea. The event took place in the presence of the Greek authorities and the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to Greece.
As a result, Vladimir Martus is not what he claims to be, which is « a long-time political opponent of Putin’s regime ». Likewise, his assertion that he « has not been able to see his country again for many years » is inaccurate. In this sense, we point out that the owner of the « Shtandart » returned to his home in St. Petersburg between the beginning of January 2022 and mid-February 2022 https://vk.com/wall354135_3640 (Ru). Finally, the qualification of “training ship”, which the authorities of La Rochelle attribute to it, in a very questionable way, does not change anything in this affair. There is no exception to the fifth part of the sanctions for training ships, any more than there would be for the claims, even if some were proven, of what should be called « the Shtandart’s tale”.
Our committee would like to receive a response from your services within a week. In the meantime, we remain at your disposal to provide you with the verified information we have about the Russian ship, Shtandart, and the Russian citizen, Vladimir Martus.
Please receive, dear Madam, the expression of our best regards.
For the committee “No Shtandart in Europe“
Picture: The « Gulf of Morbihan Week » cited by activists of « No Shtandart In Europe » in front of the City Hall of La Rochelle, December 11, 2022.
Note: composition of the committee “No Shtandart In Europe”:
- The “No Shtandart in Europe” committee is present in France, Spain and Ukraine.
- The committee includes Roman Sushchenko and Oleh Sentsov, former prisoners of the Kremlin, as well as the thirty Ukrainian organizations in France, who signed their letter asking the Prime Minister to apply, effectively, the 5th part of the sanctions https://bit.ly/Shtandart-letter-prime-minister.
- The committee includes the Lviv City Council, which seized the Yermark-MCFaul commission in charge of violations of sanctions https://bit.ly/shtandart-infraction-sanctions (Fr). The case is currently being examined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
- In Odessa, it is Oleksiy Goncharenko, deputy to the Verkhovna Rada and member of the permanent parliamentary delegation of Ukraine to the Council of Europe, who is following the Shtandart affair https://bit.ly/shtandart-Oleksiy -goncharenko (Fr). The committee is supported by GRAD TV from Odessa https://youtu.be/pCKeltAZXNg.
- The committee brings together Ukrainian sailors such as the crew of the replica “Anna Yaroslavna” from Odessa https://www.facebook.com/anna.yaroslavna.brest and the crew of the chaika “Presvyata Pokrova” from Lviv https ://bit.ly/facebook-presvyata-pokrova.
- In Spain, the committee includes about twenty representative organizations of the Ukrainian community, which opposed the participation of the Shtandart in the « Ruta Iacobus Maris » of Vigo and its coming to La Coruña https://bit.ly/shtandart-petition-vigo-fr.