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Greece has seized a Russian-flagged oil tanker, Pegas, as part of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union (EU) in the wake of Moscow’s military incursion on Ukraine.
The authorities seized the 115,500-deadweight tonnage vessel with 19 crew members on board near Karystos on the southern coast of Evia, reported Reuters.
The EU has barred Russian-flagged vessels from the 27-nation bloc’s ports, with some exemptions, at the starting of this month.
According to the news agency, the Russian embassy in Greece’s capital Athens noted on Twitter that it is reviewing the case as well as is in touch with Greek authorities.
The news agency quoted a Greek shipping ministry official as saying: “It has been seized as part of EU sanctions.”
Meanwhile, the US welcomed the move of impounding the vessel by Greece.
A US State Department spokesperson was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We are aware of reports that the tanker is loaded with Iranian crude oil,” .
The oil cargo in the ship, which is managed by Russia-based Transmorflot, has not been seized and there is no clarity on the charterer of the cargo, according to the Greek coastguard official.
Athens News Agency reported that Pegas was moored at Karystos due to rough seas while heading towards the southern Peloponnese peninsula to unload its cargo onto another tanker.
Meanwhile, Italy also banned Russian ships from entering its ports in line with the EU’s sanctions on Russia.