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London warns of Russian “ghost fleet” to circumvent Western sanctions

Photo: Sebastien Berger Agence France-Presse An oil tanker near the coast of Mumbai, India, August 5, 2023.

France Media Agency in London

January 30, 2024

  • Europe

Despite cooperation between London and its allies on sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow is increasing the means of circumventing them, in particular through the formation of a “ghost fleet of tankers », according to a British parliamentary report published on Wednesday.

“We are concerned by the growing evidence that Russia has been able to circumvent sanctions, notably through third states and ghost tanker fleets,” writes the Affairs Committee European Parliament of the House of Lords, responsible for drafting the report.

On this issue, “the UK and its allies must take decisive action,” she said.

Oil embargo, capping the price of Russian crude oil including a ban on providing services enabling maritime transport (trading, freight, insurance, shipowners, etc.) for companies based in EU, G7 countries and Australia , a similar mechanism for petroleum products… Many Western sanctions were in fact aimed at hitting Russia's financial windfall.

To circumvent these sanctions, Moscow has reduced its dependence on Western maritime services by building a “shadow fleet” of tankers, buying old ships to which it offers its own insurance services, according to Rystad Energy.

“179 full tankers of the Russian ghost fleet left Russian ports in November 2023,” claims the Kiev-based Ukrainian economic institute KSE in its December “Russian Oil Tracker” report.

As of October 2023, the shadow fleet enabled the export of approximately 2.3 million barrels of crude oil per day in addition to 800,000 barrels of petroleum products per day, according to the KSE institute .

Moreover, the parliamentary report points out the fact that “gaps and flaws result from divergences between sanctions regimes, which weakens their effectiveness”, calling for them to be “as limited as possible.”

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116