Friday 20 September, 2019

Young: No reason to deny Russian vessel's request to dock in TT waters

National Security Minister Stuart Young speaks in Parliament June 26, 2019.

National Security Minister Stuart Young speaks in Parliament June 26, 2019.

There was nothing unusual in a request from the Russian Embassy in Guyana to allow a Russian midsize tanker to dock at the Port of Port of Spain.

That was the response from National Security Minister Stuart Young who said approval was given by the Trinidad and Tobago authorities for the Kama to enter the port of Port of Spain for the purposes of replenishing vessel stock and to rest the vessel’s personnel.

He noted that Trinidad and Tobago routinely receives requests from other countries to traverse its territorial waters or to dock for various reasons.

“The request of the Russian Embassy is therefore not unusual. We frequently receive requests for permission from countries such as the United States of America, Canada and Colombia for various reasons for their vessels registered to those countries to dock at the Port of Port of Spain.

And this administration has no problem or no issue in granting such requests.”

Questioned further by Opposition Senator Dr Roodal Moonilal on whether granting approval for the vessel to dock in T&T’s waters could compromise Government’s position of non-interference in Venezuela’s political crisis, Young said denied this was the case and labelled it “mischief” on the part of the Opposition.

“It is disheartening to come here…sometimes multiple days for the week and to hear the Opposition attack the sovereignty of Trinidad and Tobago and to continue with their mischief. It in absolutely no way compromises Trinidad and Tobago’s protected international and global positioning and one of mutual respect I am sure we can continue to maintain with the vast majority of, if not all, the countries in the world.”

“Despite the continued attempts of those on the other side to paint Trinidad and Tobago in the most negative light, it is continued mischief on their part,” Young said.

He explained that the request to dock was granted, given that there was no reason to object to the vessel being docked.

Revealing that a United States that a naval vessel is set to dock at the port in La Brea in September to provide hospital services for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, Young said all vessels are welcome to enter Trinidad and Tobago unless there is some compelling reason why approval should not be granted – a matter the Minister said has not yet arisen.

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