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Denmark Looks to Curb Dark Fleet Carrying Russian Oil in the Baltic Sea

Denmark, other Baltic Sea countries, and allies from the European Union are considering ways to limit the volume of Russian oil transported on the so-called dark fleet in the Baltic Sea and the Danish straits, Denmark’s Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen told Reuters on Monday.  

Apart from looking to clamp down on Russian shadow fleet activities and Putin’s revenues from oil, Denmark has been concerned that the old and potentially uninsured tankers of the growing dark fleet could cause an environmental disaster in its waters through which Russia’s oil from its Baltic Sea ports passes en route to the Atlantic.

“There is broad consensus that the shadow fleet is an international problem and that international solutions are required,” Lokke Rasmussen told Reuters in an email, without giving details about what the measures under consideration are. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]

“It's important that any new measures can be implemented in practice and that they are legally sound with regards to international law,” the Danish foreign minister added.

This weekend, Danish investigative journalism media Danwatch reported a new analysis that had found that every other tanker from Russia that is crossing the Great Belt, the largest Danish strait, carries sanctioned oil and doesn’t live up to industry standards about ownership, valid insurance, or safety.

A report from Allianz SE highlighted last month the serious environmental and safety risks posed by the burgeoning "shadow fleet" of oil tankers carrying sanctioned Russian crude. Over the past three years, as international sanctions on Russian crude and refined product exports have tightened due to its invasion of Ukraine, a significant number of older, under-regulated vessels have emerged to maintain the flow of these exports. These tankers, often operating without proper insurance and outside international regulatory frameworks, present substantial hazards in key maritime chokepoints.

In Asian waters, Russian tankers are attempting to circumvent U.S. sanctions by surreptitiously transferring their oil cargo to other vessels.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on June 17 2024 said:
    Put bluntly it is another ploy by Western countries to force a reduction in Russia's soaring exports of crude oil and petroleum products but it will fail as all Western sanctions against Russia have miserably failed.

    As long as the dark fleet tankers carrying Russian crude aren't leaking and are in international waters, trying to stop them or intercept them is illegal. If Danish and NATO ships tried to intercept them in international waters, they risk a military confrontation with Russia.

    May be this is their ultimate objective of provoking Russia into a military confrontation.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert
  • Vincent Walker on June 17 2024 said:
    First off, Rusia did not invade Ukraine. Russia is there at the request of the people of Donbas who were being slaughtered by the Ukrainian army for want to keep their Russian heritage. The Minsk agreement drawn up by Merkel and Johnson was so the Ukrainian army could rearm itself. Ukraine the violated the Minsk agreement. Ukraine was committing geneocide.

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