The Russian tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets, citing Russian security sources, said the Arctic Sea was smuggling arms and that the hijackers were stooges hired by the intelligence service of an EU member state to intercept it. Suspected hijacker, Russian Dmitry Bartenev’s brother said he believed that the hijacking suspects had been caught up in “political games.”
“I think they were framed, and it is not just my opinion, everybody who knows them also thinks so,” Alexei Bartenev. “They were seeking a job and got involved in a political conflict, were made hostages of a political game.” He did not elaborate.
Sweden, Malta and Finland have been called upon by Russia to help answer questions in the investigation into the hijacking and disappearance this summer of the "Arctic Sea" freighter. "But what else it is actually transporting. It has yet to be clarified," Nikolai Makarov, chief of Russia's general staff, told reporters during an official visit to Mongolia.
"We want to make sure that there is nothing but timber on board this ship. The motive for the seizure is simply not very clear," said Makarov.
Authorities in Finland, which the Arctic Sea departed from on July 23, have said it was not carrying any radioactive cargo.