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Russian tankers continue to deliver oil to Europe, but under the flag of Liberia

Russian Sovcomflot tankers under the flag of Liberia, they freely deliver oil to the ports of Europe, bypassing Western sanctions. This was reported by the international investigative platform OCCRP, writes “Medusa”.

Investigators found that the Russian company was able to circumvent the restrictions by registering them as the property of its subsidiaries in Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates.

This makes it difficult to track the ownership of ships. In addition, the company is changing the names of the ships, and the tankers themselves turn off the trackers.

Read also: Russian Oil Continues to Arrive in US Despite Sanctions – The Wall Street Journal

OCCRP has identified more than 18 Sovcomflot tankers that continue to make voyages to Europe. Each tanker carries an average of $240 million worth of oil. The organization tracked down at least five of them as the ships either returned, sailed or were in ports in Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands after EU sanctions against the company went into effect. Who is the buyer of Russian oil delivered by Sovcomflot tankers is unclear.

European Union imposed sanctions against Sovcomflot in mid-March. A month later, the shipping company reported that due to the restrictions imposed, it would not be able to pay off Eurobonds, and later Sovcomflot announced the sale of part of its fleet. By the summer, the Russian shipping company had moved most of its business to Dubai. Before the start of the war, the company’s own and chartered fleet consisted of 134 vessels.

In early June, the European Union adopted the sixth package of sanctions, which includes a ban on the import of oil from Russia, delivered by sea, however, the Liberi flag helps to successfully bypass them.

The Liberia Flag Registry is the second largest, oldest and most respected maritime registry in the world, with 4,200 state-of-the-art maritime vessels, with a combined tonnage of 150 million gross register tons. 12% of the world merchant fleet sails under the flag of Liberia.

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