Russia continues to use Black Sea to export oil despite EU sanctions, says expert

20 April, 04:54 PM
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View of the Bosphorus Strait, October 31, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

View of the Bosphorus Strait, October 31, 2022 (Photo:REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

While Russia continues to use its “shadow fleet” to export oil from the Black Sea despite EU sanctions, loopholes are being closed in appeals cases and media exposure, BlackSeaNews Editor-in-Chief Andrii Klymenko told Radio NV on April 19.

“Russia doubled its crude oil exports from the Black Sea last month,” he said.

“But at the same time, we concluded from our monitoring that the European Commission and the Greek authorities have taken some necessary steps to significantly reduce this ‘raid transshipment’ off the coast of Greece.”

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Klymenko noted that the so-called “transshipment” is still taking place, but such loopholes in the sanctions are being closed after appeals and media reports.

“As for crude oil, there were only four tankers last month, but as for the transshipment of petroleum products, i.e., mainly diesel fuel and various fractions, it continues,” he said.

“We see it every day. There are dozens of tankers that leave the Black Sea and ‘transfer’ oil products. That is, there were results after our publications (in particular, in Greek media) and appeals, but we must continue.”

“You see, the sea is hundreds of kilometers of area, it’s necessary to strengthen the coast guard forces, it’s necessary to take many special actions at sea, with ships, with military sailors of the relevant countries – this is what must be done,” Klymenko said.

“In general, unfortunately, Russia could reorient its oil exports from ordinary markets, (in particular) oil exports to Singapore have increased nine times. As for petroleum products, let’s see. All these processes are not resolved in a day, but within weeks, sometimes months.”

Millions of barrels of Russian crude and fuels have been switched between tankers just a few miles off the coast of Greece, one of a series of workarounds that traders have used to overcome European Union sanctions against Moscow, reported Bloomberg on Feb. 23.

Earlier, Russia announced plans to reduce oil production by 500,000 barrels per day over sanctions against Russian oil.

In October 2022, Bloomberg reported that a “shadow fleet” was expected to appear in the world to transport oil for the benefit of Russia.

In January, the agency reported that transshipment of Russian Urals oil at sea reached record highs after reaching record prices.

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