Rostock, Germany (dpa) – German customs authorities have detained a cargo ship that arrived from Russia at the German Baltic Sea port of Rostock because of suspicions about the ship’s contents, authorities announced on Tuesday.

The ship, a 193-metre-long freighter, had arrived at the port on March 4 for repairs due to technical problems with its propeller, likely caused by voyaging through icy seas, German authorities said.

German customs officials pointed out that the ship’s cargo, like all goods brought into the European Union, was subject to customs supervision and inspection. German customs officials also contend that restrictions on foreign trade imposed by EU sanctions on Russia apply as well.

“Due to EU-sanctioned goods on board, the ship has received a detention order from customs. Leaving the port is therefore prohibited,” the Rostock Port and Seamen’s Office announced on Tuesday.

According to a report by the Ostsee-Zeitung newspaper, the ship was on its way to the United States and was loaded with birch wood and enriched uranium for US nuclear power plants, among other things. The newspaper said its information had been confirmed by multiple unnamed sources, and placed the value of the cargo at around 40 million euros (43 million dollars).

After Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the EU imposed a raft of sanctions, seeking to halt the Kremlin’s war. However, there is no EU import ban on uranium.

The sanctions in place apply to a total of more than 1,700 people and over 400 organisations. Steel, steel products and iron, gold and diamonds, including jewellery, cement, asphalt, wood, paper, synthetic rubber and plastics may not be imported under the restrictions, for example. (2 April)

The editorial responsibility for the publication lies with dpa.