The “small portion” of UK shipping chain companies exposes “massive holes in Western sanctions”, reports The Independent
Ships with British crews have taken part in the transport of Russian crude oil to Asia, The Independent revealed on Friday, claiming that the “small part“they play in the chain indicates”huge holesin the Western sanctions against Moscow.
A joint investigation by The Independent and the website Global Witness found that in May at least two British ships with British crews entered the town of Southwold in Suffolk”rushed from nearby ports to transfer Russian oil between huge tankers.”
A boat was sent by a British company called STS Marine Transfers to carry 14,000 tons of Russian fuel oil from one foreign tanker to another, while another, a catamaran called Endeavour, which belongs to a company known as Wood Marine, stocks up on supplies. delivered and took over the tankers’ crews ashore. The oil transfers took place outside UK territorial waters.
“After refueling, the two tankers carried 165,000 tons of Russian fuel oil – worth more than £165 million – onward to the Persian Gulf and Singapore,‘ said The Independent.
According to the outlet, the transfers are “are one link in an international chain” that has helped Russia quickly shift oil sales to Asia, while European buyers austere.
When the journalists approached him, one of the operators of the British ships said that their boats are simply “a taxi service at sea”, and therefore there is no obligation to check where the oil comes from. Another company said it complied with all international laws and regulations and had not renewed its contract with cargoes originating from Russia.
“The exact number of Russian oil transfers that have taken place off the British coast is unknown. They are not illegal, and there is nothing stopping British companies from participating, but they are an indication of huge holes in Western sanctions,the researchers say.
They added that, like “Global shipping is one of the most opaque and least responsible industries in the world,and many things happen “beyond the reach of individual nation states”, the industry is significantly undermining Western countries’ ability to put pressure on Russia.
The G7 has said it is aware of the problem and plans to introduce a price cap that would allow Western countries to curb Moscow’s oil revenues. The bloc has also tried to entice China and India, the main buyers of Russian crude, to join the deal.
In response to Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, western countries have imposed strict sanctions on Moscow, including a full and partial ban on its oil, gas and coal. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously accused EU leaders of committing economic suicide by trying to give up Russian energy.
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