Greenpeace activists tried to block a Russian oil tanker en route to Norway


The Ust Luga — loaded with $116 million worth of Russian jet fuel — was en route to the port of Slagentangen, about 85 miles south of the capital Oslo, when activists chained themselves to its anchor, Aud Hegli Nordø, a spokesman for Greenpeace Nordic, to CNN.

The oil terminal of Slagen is owned by Esso, a subsidiary of the American oil giant ExxonMobil XOM

In an effort to prevent the tanker from docking, seven Greenpeace activists set out in boats across the waters of the Oslofjord, chaining themselves to the anchor, Nordø said.

All were taken into police custody, alongside several activists from climate action group Extinction Rebellion who joined the blockade, a Greenpeace spokesperson confirmed to CNN. The ER activists were later released.

The Ust Luga is now docked in Slagen, according to Marine Traffic tracking site.

“The fact that in the current situation our government still allows imports of Russian fossil fuels is inscrutable,” Frode Pleym, head of Greenpeace Norway, said in a statement to CNN.

“I am shocked that Norway is operating as a free port for Russian oil, which we know is financing.” [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s Warfare”.

According to Marine Traffic, the Ust Luga tanker is registered in Hong Kong.

The vessel will be operated by Russian gas producer Novatek, according to shipping data provider Lloyd’s List Intelligence. Novatek’s CEO and main shareholder is oligarch Leonid Mikhelson, who CNN has previously reported as having close ties to Putin.
Greenpeace also demands that Esso cancel its contracts with Russia.

An ExxonMobil spokesperson told CNN in a statement that supplies of Russian fuel to Norway “comply with contracts in place before the invasion.”

“We have not made any new purchases of Russian products since the invasion and there are no plans for future purchases,” she said.

“We are fully compliant with all sanctions and we support internationally coordinated efforts to end Russia’s unprovoked attack,” the spokesperson added.

A string of energy companies left Russia after President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine in late February. BP BP Shell SHLX and Norwegian state oil company Equinor have stopped trading Russian oil or entering into new contracts.
Exxon, which had been operating in Russia for more than 25 years, promised to pull out of its Sakhalin-1 venture — a massive oil and natural gas project off Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East.

Mark Thompson contributed to this report.

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