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Tanker transporting Russian oil diverted from Welsh port

A tanker transporting Russian oil has undergone multiple course changes due to confusion over sanctions which are currently in place.

By Frankie Youd

A tanker transporting Russian oil has undergone multiple course changes due to confusion over sanctions currently in place against Russia.

MT Louie, a tanker transporting Russian oil, has been forced to change course twice due to confusion over the implications of the sanctions. The tanker, which was heading from the Russian port of Primorsk to Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire, has now had its destination reverted to Antwerp.

The vessel was due to dock on Friday at the Puma Energy terminal, the firm has confirmed that the tanker will not be calling there anymore. Instead, it has been diverted to Antwerp. The confusion over Russian sanctions resulted in the tanker being re-routed back on course to Milford Haven, but was subsequently rediverted again to Antwerp.

At present, the UK has issued a ban on vessels associated with Russia. However, at present, there is no ban on cargo including oil and gas that has originated from there.

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has called the UK to action, urging them to “close any loopholes” that would enable companies to find ways around the UK ban on Russian associated vessels.

Paired with the comment from Drakeford, Conservative MP Stephen Crabb has issued a comment that he wants to see all Russian cargo banned from Welsh ports.

At present, UK sanctions only affect ships that are controlled, owned, or operated with individuals with Russian connections, ships that are Russian registered or flagged, and designated persons.

On Monday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps addressed the ports advising them to block access to Russian flagged, owned, controlled, registered, or operated vessels.

Supporting this decision Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, commented that there can be no ambiguity in this decision. “There must be a complete and total economic, political, diplomatic and cultural isolation of Russia – the gravity of the situation demands it and the lives of the citizens of Ukraine may well depend on it.” Price commented.

The US is also considering restricting Russian-flagged ships from entering its ports as punitive action for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Earlier this week, shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk will temporarily halt all container shipping to and from Russia, in light of the sanctions placed against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

Elsewhere, aviation giants Boeing and Airbus have both confirmed that they will stop sending spare parts to Russia, in a move that could be a big blow to the Russian aviation sector.

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