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Finland urges EU to purchase ship due to Russia's oil fleet

Finland urges EU to purchase ship due to Russia's oil fleet Archive photo: Finland has called on the EU to buy a ship because of Russia's oil fleet (Getty Images)
Author: Daryna Vialko

Finland has urged the European Union to purchase a vessel that will be on standby for oil spills in the northern Baltic Sea. This is due to the transportation of Russian crude oil, which poses a threat to the region, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Finland.

The Ministry clarified that the risk of oil spills in the area has increased after international sanctions forced Russia to transport oil on older vessels with weaker insurance coverage.

Harsh winter conditions also increase these risks, as Russian vessels in the so-called “shadow fleet” may be poorly equipped and not adapted to ice conditions.

The European Maritime Safety Agency currently has 14 oil spill response vessels deployed in ports from Constanta on Romania's Black Sea coast to Malmo in southern Sweden. Finland has said that the EU agency should purchase a 15th ship to cover the northern parts of the Baltic Sea, especially the Gulf of Finland.

The new vessel should be able to navigate in ice and be suitable for the conditions of the northern part of the Baltic Sea, as oil recovery in winter conditions is more laborious and expensive than spills in open water.

Russia's “shadow fleet”

Russia began using old tankers after the implementation of massive sanctions by Western countries. These vessels are quite old and many of them were initially planned to be scrapped.

Recently, Reuters reported that the "shadow fleet" of Russian tankers is causing environmental damage.