The difficulties of enforcing sanctions against Russia are becoming increasingly evident with a host of foreign shipowners still making their fortunes moving goods out of the world’s largest nation on day 57 of the invasion of Ukraine .
Data from the Sea/ maritime platform shows that a total of 474 ships of all segments are due to call at Russian ports over the next three weeks, 256 of them not flying the Russian flag. Many Russian shipowners changed flags in the first weeks of the war as the sanctions rained down, while the data from the sea clearly indicates that there are many names of well-known non-Russian ships making their fortunes with Aframaxes out of the Baltic set at rates over $300,000 per day.
Since last Sunday, the European Union has joined other nations, including the United Kingdom, in barring ships associated with Russia from entering ports. However, crude and coal volumes continue to flow west from the Baltic and the Black Sea.
In a webinar on Tuesday, analysts from freight analytics platform Vortexa presented data showing that at least 47.6 million barrels of crude and 2.7 million tonnes of coal will have been unloaded in European and American ports for the period from April 1 to April 26. The Russian Tanker Tracking Group, an initiative led by the Ukrainian government, shows that from April 19 to 26, 32 crude-laden tankers, 19 oil tankers, 26 coal-carrying bulk carriers and seven LNG carriers will all unload Russian products at the ports of the EU and Great Britain.
Vortexa’s presentation also showed how ship-to-ship transfers are on the rise, with Russian cargo moving to different vessels in European waters for further shipment to Asia, with India notably increasing its imports of Russian oil relatively cheap.
The war radically changed the nature of shipping in the Black Sea, as new data from Sea/.
Generally, the Black Sea has about 600 ships on average every day. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, this average has dropped to around 500 per day, mainly due to the lack of ships in Ukrainian waters.
At the London headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Secretary General Kitack Lim addressed delegates attending the Maritime Safety Committee yesterday, during which he spent time discussing the ongoing Ukrainian invasion .
“The ongoing armed conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine continues to pose a serious threat to the safety and security of vessels operating in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov and their crews,” Lim said.
The Secretary-General’s special adviser on maritime security, Peter Adams, provided further details to delegates yesterday.
At the start of the conflict, about 2,000 sailors were stranded on board 94 ships in Ukrainian ports. As of yesterday, there were 84 merchant ships left, with nearly 500 sailors on board.