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30 June 2022 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 03:09 GMT+2

June 6, 2022

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EU sanctions do not work in the case of transport Russian oil seam

This is denounced by the British newspapers "The Independent" and "The Sunday Times"

"An oil embargo must be an embargo. oil, and this is not an oil embargo." The statement is by Anastassia Fedyk, professor of Finance at the University's Haas School of Business Californian from Berkeley and member of The International Working Group on Russian Sanctions at Stanford University as well as co-founder of the collective Economists for Ukraine. Words that are were picked up by the British newspaper "The Independent" to corroborate the arguments of its own article yesterday by the Title "European shipping companies make fun of themselves of sanctions on Russia as they double the loads oil" in which it denounces itself as the European industry of shipping would be circumventing the sanctions by increasing the activity with Russia and at the same time profits. To criticize the work of European shipowners is also an article of yesterday of the British periodical "The Sunday Times" which, referring the activity of transhipment of Russian oil from Russian ships to European ships, headlined: "Greek shipping companies they profit by masking the transport of Russian oil."

The accusation made against European shipowners by the two newspapers of the United Kingdom is not only to evade the provisions of the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, measures taken from the European Union following the invasion by the troops of Moscow of the territory of Ukraine launched last February 24, but above all to circumvent the sanctions with the aim of making even more money.

The analysis of "The Independent" focuses especially on the non-prohibition imposed on flag ships of the European Union to transport Russian oil. It is true that the sixth package of sanctions includes provisions on transport of oil according to which, 'at the end of a six-month transition period, EU operators will be prohibited insuring and financing the transport of oil to countries third parties, in particular through sea routes.' However beyond the transition semester, placed in these terms the ban does not seem at all difficult to circumvent so much so that "The Independent" noted that, "after the pressures of maritime nations of Greece, Malta and Cyprus, registered ships in the EU they will be able to continue to transport oil from Russian ports to non-EU countries. This means that EU companies will be able to continue to benefit from facilitating the transfer of Russian oil to countries such as India and China which have proved to be available buyers of the crude oil which Europe no longer wants to."

Referring to the findings of an organization report non-governmental Global Witness, "The Independent" has highlighted that since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war the three Major European shipping nations - Greece, Cyprus and Malta - have rapidly increased the amount of Russian oil transported: in February, when Putin's troops invaded Ukraine - explained the newspaper - companies and ships connected to the three nations transported 31 million barrels of Russian oil; in May this figure jumped to 58 million of barrels. In total - the newspaper announced - since February the ships connected to Greece, Malta and Cyprus carried 178 million of barrels for a value, at current prices, of 17.3 billion Russian oil dollars. At the beginning of the war - specified also "The Independent" - the ships related to these Countries transported just over a third of exports of Russian oil, while in May this figure jumped to just over half.

In this regard, "The Independent" reported the comment by Fedyk. "The EU - said the professor - has a leverage on Russia given by the inelasticity of the energy supplies: for Russia - he explained - it is difficult and expensive to direct one's energy elsewhere. Allowing SHIPS flying the EU flag to carry Russian oil - he denounced - therefore only undermines power EU contract'. "Ordinary citizens of countries Europeans - fedyk pointed out - paid more for the Russian oil without actually punishing Russia, indeed increasing only the revenue of Russia with the entry into the war, something that the Russian Ministry of Finance has openly discussed boasted."

"Ships connected to Greece, Cyprus and Malta -- he said in no uncertain terms Louis Goddard, senior advisor to Global Witness - are making fun of the EU's effort to sanction Putin's war machine by maintaining the flow of money to Russia as the country's armed forces continue to hit Ukraine. To block these loopholes - he urged Goddard - the EU must resolutely resist everyone's pressure Member States with deep-rooted interests in oil trade with Russia and placing restrictions on maritime transport at the the centre of its sanctions regime'.

The complaint of "The Sunday Times" is instead focused mainly on the transhipment activities of Russian oil that - according to the weekly - would be underway between Russian ships and Greek ships, a practice that has already been done for some time appeal with the aim of circumventing sanctions. In particular, the British periodical has dwelt on this type of activities that would be underway in the Russian port of Kavkaz, on the Kerc Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The "The Sunday Times" cited as an example the case of the tanker Russian Vladimir Monomakh who entered that port last March where he would have transferred his cargo on the tanker MR Minerva Emily owned by the Greek Minerva Marine and Maltese flag, operation that the periodical British highlighted having taken place in the light of the sun and realized - it must be added - when still the last package of EU sanctions had not yet been adopted.

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