« Rouen Armada 2023 – Freedom Sails »: a reminder of European sanctions against Russian ships, including against the frigate « Shtandart »

Rouen Armada 2023 – Freedom Sails": a reminder of European sanctions against Russian ships, including against the frigate "Shtandart"

Short URL: https://bit.ly/shtandart-rouen-en

European sanctions prohibit all Russian ships from entering French ports. A second letter was sent to the organizers of « Rouen Armada 2023 – Freedom Sails » (L’Armada Rouen 2023 – Les Voiles de la Liberté). They are reminded of the risks, in particular criminal, to which they are exposed when using the services of the Russian frigate « Standart ».
No shtandart in Europe

To the attention of :
Mr. Jean-Paul Rivière,
President of the association « Armada de la Liberté »
Emile Duchemin Bd
76000 Rouen (Normandy)
+33 235892003

See copy distribution list after the letter.

Subject: reminder of the European regulation concerning the prohibition of Russian ships in French ports

Nantes, January 6, 2023

Dear Sir,

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 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/

Russian ship "Shtandart" is part of "Rouen Armada 2023" program
Russian ship « Shtandart » services are booked for « Rouen Armada 2023 » event

We consider, it seems judicious for « Rouen Armada 2023 – Freedom Sails », 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 «  »Rouen Armada 2023 – Freedom Sails » », we send you our best wishes for the New Year and for the success of your event.

We would like to assure you, Dear Sir, of our highest consideration.

For #NoShtandartInEurope
Bernard Grua, spokesperson

Co-founder and former spokesperson for “No Mistrals For Putin”, contributor to the book by Laurent Chamontin, “Ukraine and Russia to understand”, contributor to “Russia Beyond”, “Ukrinform”, “Ukraine Crisis Media Center”

Distribution list of letter copies :

  • Ukrainian Embassy in France – His Excellency Mr. Vadym Omelchenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
  • Honorary Consulate of Ukraine in Aquitaine – Mr.Laurent Fortin, Consul
  • 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
  • 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
  • Mr. Michel Terestchenko, Mayor of Hlukhiv (2015-2020), President of the Association of Friends of Oxmatdet children hospital.
  • Kish, Cossack Cultural Association, Lviv – Mr. Taras Beniakh, President and Otaman of the chaika « Presvyata Pokrova »
  • AUG Girasol, Association of Ukrainians in Galicia, Spain – Ms. Marta Skyba, President
  • Union of Ukrainians in France – Mr. Jean-Pierre Pasternak, President
  • Association of Ukrainian Students in France – Miss Zoriana Haniak, President
  • “France-Ukraine Charitable Medical Aid” Association, – Mr. Dmytro Atamanyuk, 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
  • Association “Ukraine friendship, Bordeaux” – Mrs. Oleksandra Sergeiva, President
  • Advule, Association of Descendants of Ukrainian Foreign Legion Volunteers – Ms. Annick Bilobran-Karmazyn, President
  • Association « Ukrainian Perspectives » – Ms. Lesya Darricau-Dmytrenko, President
  • Association « Ukraine Memory – History of Ukrainian immigration in France » – Ms. Christine Kohut Roubaix, Founder
  • Franco-Ukrainian Association « Idees without borders » – Ms. Mariya Kutchirka, President
  • Association « Portail de l’Ukraine », association of friends of Ukraine in the Hauts-de-France region – Ms. Iryna Lampeka, President
  • Association « Cultural Spaces of Western and Eastern Europe » – Ms. Oksana Lychkovska-Nebot, President and Associate Professor at the University of Odessa.
  • Kalyna Association – Mr. Florent Murer, President
  • Association « Help and Support » – Mr. Dmytro Tsapenko, President
  • Mr. Henri Dudzinski, Journalist, Ex-consul of Poland, Knight in the National Order of Merit of Poland, President of PolKabaret (Theatre, cinema, reportage, conference, literature)
  • Mr. Reginald Gaillard, Novelist, poet, publisher – Catholic Grand Prize for Literature; Max Jacob Prize; Paul Verlaine Prize of the French Academy Co-author and editor of « Ukraine pivot of Europe »
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Poster of « L’Armada Rouen 2023 »

Exhibit: first letter sent to « Rouen Armada 2023 – Freedom Sails »

To the attention of :
Mr. Jean-Paul Rivière,
President of the association « Armada de la Liberté », Rouen
+33 235892003

  • Copies:
  • His Excellency Mr. Vadym Omelchenko
    Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to France
    +33 143060737
  • Mr Jean-Pierre Pasternak
    President of the Union of Ukrainians of France
  • Mr. Roman Sushchenko
  • Mrs. Marta kryba
  • Mr Oleksiy Goncharenko
  • Mr. Serhiy Kiral

Bernard Grua
Spokesperson of the « No Shtandart In Europe » committee

Nantes, December 15, 2022

Subject: Rouen Armada, the ship « Shtandart » falls within the scope of the fifth round of sanctions prohibiting the entry of Russian ships into European ports.

Dear Sir,

Following a brief conversation today with your communications department, 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 « Rouen Armada » event to be held June 8-18, 2023. We believe this is a decision untimely and financially risky. Indeed, we take the liberty of informing you that the « Shtandart » falls within the scope of the 5th package of sanctions unanimously voted 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. Derogations 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 part 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 part of the sanctions. You will find the article of the 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://bit.ly/shtandart-la-rochelle-demonstration-en

Even before the adoption of the sanctions, Fabrice Loher, mayor of Lorient, decided that the Shtandart would not be present at the « Lorient Oceans » 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 sent to various authorities, including the Junta de Galicia, by about forty representative organizations of the Ukrainian diaspora in Spain and 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 the 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 consulting 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 brought to light the fact that « Shtandart » and its captain maintain close ties with the 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, that 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 Saint Petersburg between the beginning of January 2022 and mid-February 2022 https://vk.com/wall354135_3640 (Ru). Eventually, 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 case. 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 are 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 Sir, the expression of our highest consideration.

For the « No Shtandart in Europe » committee
Bernard Grua

Note: composition of the « No Shtandart In Europe » committee:

Attachment: the Armada of Rouen quoted by the activists of « No Shtandart In Europe » in front of the City Hall of La Rochelle, December 11, 2022.

PJ photo: The Armada of Rouen quoted by the activists of "No Shtandart In Europe" in front of the City Hall of La Rochelle, December 11, 2022.
City Hall of La Rochelle, December 11, 2022



Publié par Bernard Grua

Graduated from Paris "Institut d'Etudes Politiques", financial auditor, photographer, founder and spokesperson of the worldwide movement which opposed to the delivery of Mitral invasion vessels to Putin's Russia, contributor to French and foreign media for culture, heritage and geopolitics.

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