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Ship allegedly transporting Russian coal sparks scandal in Poland

Ship allegedly transporting Russian coal sparks scandal in Poland A scandal has erupted in Poland over Russian coal (Photo: GettyImages)
Author: Daria Shekina

A scandal has erupted in Poland over a statement by Senator Krzysztof Brejza from the opposition party "Civic Coalition," claiming that coal has allegedly been imported into the country from Russia, according to the Polish portal Onet.

"Recently, Poland received over a million tons of coal from Russian ports. Russian sailors transport it on small vessels (to avoid suspicion) from the Leningrad region. Today, I will present documents and records confirming this practice," wrote the senator on his Twitter social media account.

In his post, he added a video of the arrival of the Roseburg ship and stated that it was operated by Russian citizens.

"On Monday after 1:00 AM in Szczecin, we registered the ship Roseburg, according to my information, the captain and crew are Russians. It was bringing coal from the Vyborg port. (Documents and checks are being carried out by a group of 3 colleagues)," he noted.

Response of the Maritime Office

The Maritime Office in Szczecin, where the ship called, responded that the coal was from Kazakhstan, despite the Russian crew. According to Onet's information, the ship Roseburg had already entered the port of Szczecin for the second time this year. The senator claimed that up to a million tons of coal could have come to Poland from Russia. The authorities refute the opposition politician's words and deny that the coal is from Russia.

"As a result of cooperation with the national tax administration services, we received information that the country of origin of the coal in the cases mentioned by the senator was Kazakhstan, and this information was also provided to the senator," said Ewa Wieczorek, the spokesperson for the Maritime Office in Szczecin, in response to Onet's inquiries.

According to the representative of the office, the investigation results debunked the notion of coal coming from Russia.

"The ship's agent submitted all necessary documents, including a cargo declaration containing information about the type and quantity of cargo, in accordance with international conventions. Customs procedures, control over the verification of the origin of the transported goods, and compliance with EU sanctions imposed in this regard fall under the competence of customs and tax authorities," Wieczorek explained.

At the same time, Breyza claims that in the past, there were cases where documents were forged.

"Don't believe this. A few years ago, we had to deal with coal from Donbas, and the Russians falsified documentation," he said at his press conference.