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The US is considering restricting Russian-flagged ships from entering its ports as punitive action for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka was quoted by the New York Post, which cited the Wall Street Journal, as saying: “I expect an announcement from Washington today that will ban all Russian ships from our shores.”
A White House spokeswoman stated that a decision had yet to be made.
However, according to the report, this restriction on Russian-flagged vessels would be mostly symbolic in nature, as they account for less than 1% of the cargo imported to the US.
While Russia owns several oil tankers, those vessels do not usually sail under its flag.
This move comes after the UK passed a law to prohibit all ships with connections to Russia from entering its ports, granting new powers to authorities for detaining Russian vessels.
Following this announcement, a Russian-owned oil tanker, NS Champion, was turned away from the UK this week.
UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss had said that the decisions were made ‘in close coordination with our allies’ and ‘will degrade Russia’s economy and help make sure [President Vladimir] Putin loses’.
Truss added: “We stand with Ukraine, its people and its democracy, and will continue to support them diplomatically, economically, politically and defensively.”
Canada has also closed its ports to Russian-owned vessels and banned them from Canadian waters.
Meanwhile, a Bangladeshi vessel in Ukraine has reportedly been hit by a Russian missile.
Reports suggest that a crew member was killed in the mishap.
The missile was fired against MV Banglar Samriddhi, a 2018-built bulk carrier registered in Bangladesh.
This vessel was anchored at the northern Black Sea port of Olvia.