UK plans to ban Russian ships from UK ports | Marine industry

The UK government is considering stopping Russian ships from using UK ports after it emerged that a Russian-owned tanker was due to dock in Orkney this week.

The NS Champion, operated by Sovcomflot, a major Russian state-owned major shipping company, is due to dock at the Flotta oil terminal in Orkney on Tuesday to collect crude oil.

To the dismay of politicians and islanders – including Ukrainian residents who attended an anti-war protest on Saturday in the archipelago’s largest town, Kirkwall – the Orkney Islands council said the UK government had indicated that ‘At this time, the ship could not be denied permission to dock.

“As a council, we are in an extremely difficult position,” a spokesperson said. “We recognize the strength of feelings around this – feelings which we share – but we are bound by our legal obligations to accept the vessel, until the UK government tells us otherwise.”

A UK government spokesman said a number of Russian ships were expected to dock at UK ports, despite intensified trade embargoes against Russian companies and state entities.

Last week, the French seized a Russian freighter carrying cars suspected of being linked to Russians targeted by sanctions put in place by the US Treasury Department.

“We are aware of concerns about Russian-connected vessels that could dock in the UK and are working quickly to explore a range of measures to restrict their access,” the spokesperson said.

“We are already discussing this issue with the Scottish Government and the sanctions being considered are part of a wider package being developed within the UK Government.”

Angus Robertson, External Affairs Secretary for the Scottish Government, told BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show: “The UK authorities have an important decision to make on whether we are going to allow Russian-owned or chartered vessels to dock at ports. British.

“[This] is a very rapidly changing situation and we are going to have to act decisively in my view.

At Saturday’s protest against the invasion, Nataliia Kuzmina, a Ukrainian living in Orkney, told the BBC she was angry the ship could arrive. She said her parents remained in Ukraine and her father volunteered to fight to defend their town but had no weapons.

“Every little thing matters now. Hundreds of people across Europe will do a small act like this, stopping buying Russian products, stopping tankers from being filled with oil,” she said. “It’s important and I think it’s my duty to deny this tanker to Scapa Flow.”

Jamie Halcro Johnston, a Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands, said he discussed the matter with Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, on Saturday morning; Jack said it was raised with the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The UK has already closed our airspace to Russian airlines, and our waters should also be closed to Russian state-owned vessels,” said Halcro Johnston.

“It is important that, given the measures already taken against the Putin regime and its interests, we ensure that there are no loopholes available to be exploited by the interests of the Russian state.”