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Nearly every sanctioned Russian oil tanker remains idle - Bloomberg

Nearly every sanctioned Russian oil tanker remains idle - Bloomberg Photo: Almost every Russian oil tanker under sanctions remains idle (Getty Images)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

Several months after the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions, almost every Russian oil tanker that has been subject to restrictions remains idle and empty, Bloomberg reports.

According to the agency, the effectiveness of the sanctions has demonstrated that the United States can destroy the oil supply chain from Russia if Washington so desires.

40 tankers involved in the oil trade in Russia were subject to restrictions due to a violation of the price limit. However, only one of these ships, the Primorye, has collected its cargo after the sanctions were imposed. If it manages to unload the barrels without any problems, it could encourage Russia to start using more tankers.

"The sanctioned ships make up a small fraction of the shadow fleet of vessels that’s been built up with the help of proxy companies to get around the G7’s restrictions on shipping services.," Bloomberg adds.

Currently, the sanctioned vessels are idle and scattered around the world.

Among the ships:

  • 8 Sovcomflot tankers, which are located near the Russian Pacific ports of Vladivostok and Nakhodka. One of them later headed for the Suez Canal, while the other was delivered to China;
  • another cluster of Sovcomflot tankers is in the Black Sea;
  • 3 ships are in the Baltic, and three more are anchored in Ust-Luga and off Estonia;
  • 10 Hennesea tankers are located off the coasts of China and South Korea. Most of the rest are off Port Said in the eastern Mediterranean.

"In a separate development, at least 10 sanctioned Sovcomflot tankers have been renamed and flying the Russian flag," Bloomberg notes.

Sanctions against Russian oil sector

In 2022, the West imposed sanctions on the price ceiling for Russian oil, which was supposed to stop the flow of oil and oil products. However, this did not happen. Russia managed to circumvent the restrictions.

In particular, in recent months, Ukraine has begun to strike at the refineries of the terrorist country. As Foreign Affairs has reported, UAV attacks are now doing what the Western sanctions regime failed to achieve.