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Malta and Greece oppose tanker ban


The EU wanted to ban European tankers from transporting Russian oil. But individual member states do not want to take part because they maintain large fleets. The federal government reacted angrily.

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Port of the Maltese capital Valetta

Photo: imageBROKER / ullstein bild

While the European Commission wrestles primarily with Hungary over an oil embargo on Russia, the row obscures another row between Brussels and its member countries that is being fought just as harshly behind the scenes.

This is not about importing oil, but about a ban on tankers from EU countries transporting Russian oil.

Greece, Cyprus and Malta have opposed such a ban.

With success: according to diplomats, the proposal is no longer part of the planned sixth sanctions package.

The transport ban should have prevented Russia from selling oil to countries outside the EU.

That way the embargo would have become tougher.

Instrument against sanction violators

Because there is great fear in the EU that Russia will sell its oil to other countries after an EU embargo.

There are enough buyers for it.

Countries such as China and India are currently ordering the coveted raw material - with high discounts, but the Kremlin is still benefiting from the income.

The idea was therefore to make these transports more difficult.

At least that's what the government hoped.

Now people in Berlin are disappointed.

Greece and Malta in particular were against it, and Cyprus also signaled a veto for the sixth sanctions package if it contained the tanker ban.

And for very peculiar reasons.

"Two-fifths of the global tanker fleet are owned by shipping companies from these two EU countries," complains a member of the government.

Ban on reinsurance of Russian oil deals

In Brussels, the matter is downplayed: it is still planned to ban European service providers from insuring tankers with Russian oil.

In this way, it is said, one could also massively complicate oil exports for Russia.

In addition, it is likely that the insurance ban will come: coordination at the level of the G7 countries is planned.

Large reinsurers are based in both Germany and Great Britain – both member countries of the G7.

Nonetheless, Berlin would have liked to see the tanker ban as another instrument to further isolate the wartime aggressor Russia.

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-05-20

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