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Ukraine removes 3 Greek companies from 'international sponsors of war' list

by Martin Fornusek November 24, 2023 7:41 PM 2 min read
The Russian-chartered vessel ANSHUN II with "Yokohama" fenders prepared and pipelines connected to receive another tanker and transfer Russian crude oil, 20 miles off Ceuta, on March 5, 2023, in Ceuta, Spain. Illustrative purposes only. (Antonio Sempere/Europa Press via Getty Images)
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Ukraine's National Agency on Corruption Prevention (NAZK) fully removed three Greek shipping companies from the international sponsors of war list after they stopped shipping Russian oil, the NAZK announced on Nov. 24.

Thenamaris Ships Management Inc., Minerva Marine, and TMS Tankers Ltd ceased transporting Russian oil in recent weeks amid tightening U.S. sanctions, Reuters reported on Nov. 23.

"The National Agency is open to cooperation with international business and is ready to consult on the steps necessary to de-list each individual company," the NAZK said in its statement.

The agency originally included Thenamaris Ships Management Inc., Minerva Marine, and TMS Tankers Ltd, as well as two other Greek companies, on the war sponsors list in the summer of 2022.

The firms were transporting Russian oil, thus contributing to Russia's revenue amid the ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

"Russia has always used energy, particularly oil, as a weapon. This still allows Russia to influence other countries, even despite the sanctions imposed on it," NAZK head Oleksandr Novikov said.

Ukraine temporarily suspended the five Greek companies' listing as war sponsors on Sept. 29 to win Greece's support for the future EU sanctions package against Russia. The Hungarian OTP Bank was also suspended from the list so that Hungary would unblock $530 million in EU military aid for Kyiv.

The U.S. and the EU sought to curtail Moscow's oil profits by imposing a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian seaborne crude. As Russia largely managed to avoid this limit and traded its oil above the $60 threshold, the West moved to sanction the cap violators.

The EU's upcoming sanctions package is reportedly meant to include stricter controls on companies shipping Russian oil to prevent violations of the $60 limit.

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Editor’s Note: This story is based on an investigation by Trap Aggressor, a project by Ukrainian NGO StateWatch, which advocates for principles of good governance. The investigation’s author, Roman Steblivskyi, is a researcher at StateWatch. This story has been translated from Ukrainian and edited b…

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