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Albania detains oil tanker due to suspicions of Russian origin

The Albanian National Police detained a tanker in the port of Durres, which was carrying 22.5 thousand tons of oil.The country’s authorities suspect that the cargo is transported from Russia in circumvention of EU sanctions, according to the website of the national police.

The ship left Azerbaijan and was then loaded with oil in the port of Kalamata (Greece) from another ship. “A police operation, codenamed ‘Embargo’, was launched and is ongoing to block a Liberian-flagged vessel carrying 22,500 tons of oil on forged documents to be smuggled into Albania,” the report said. The police suspect that “this shipment of oil was exported from countries affected by the oil embargo, namely Russia.”

The police seized the shipping documentation because the necessary documents for the transported oil were not provided. 22 crew members were detained for further investigative actions.

The name of the tanker and the name of the owner were not disclosed.

In April 2022, the EU agreed on the fifth package of sanctions against Russia, which, in particular, prohibits Russian ships and ships with Russian operators from entering the ports of the Union countries. The United Kingdom also announced restrictions on the calls of the Russian fleet to the ports of the countries from March 1 and Canada from March 2, 2022.

The EU embargo on offshore oil supplies from the Russian Federation came into force on December 5, 2022. The G7 countries, the EU and Australia have introduced a cap on the price of Russian oil supplied by sea at the level of $60 per barrel for their vessels and territories. From February 5, 2023, similar restrictions on the supply of oil products from Russia began to operate: the EU Council officially approved the decision to introduce, jointly with the G7, a price ceiling for Russian oil products transported by sea at $100 for premium oil products and $45 for discount ones.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak said that Russia continues to look for new markets for oil and oil products. In 2023, it is planned to send more than 80% of oil exports and 75% of oil products to friendly countries.

source: portnews