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Denmark developing plans to curb Russia's 'shadow fleet' of oil tankers

by Martin Fornusek June 17, 2024 2:25 PM 2 min read
Tug boats escort the STI Comandante tanker after a delivery of Russian diesel to a fuel terminal in Purfleet, U.K., on April 5, 2022. (Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Denmark is negotiating with a coalition of countries possible measures to step in against Russia's "shadow fleet" of oil tankers, Danish Foreign Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said in an interview with Danwatch and Information published on June 16.

The "shadow fleet" is a group of older and often uninsured vessels used by Russia to ship out its oil while avoiding international sanctions, namely the $60-per-barrel price cap.

"On the Danish side, we have assembled a circle of countries that will look at the possibilities for further measures against the shadow fleet," Rasmussen said in the interview.

"It is important that all new initiatives can be implemented in practice and are legally sustainable."

The minister refused to discuss specific measures or countries involved in the negotiations but said that Denmark leads talks with the Baltic countries and the EU regarding Russian oil shipments.

Any Danish move to restrict the freedom of navigation of Russian ships in the Baltic straits will be seen as a hostile act and draw retaliation, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in May.

The Swedish Navy warned in April that the activities of the "shadow fleet" may go beyond circumventing sanctions, as these vessels may also be conducting espionage in the Baltic Sea.

The EU, the U.S., and other of Ukraine's partners have imposed extensive sanctions against vessels helping Russia to dodge sanctions on oil.

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