Sweden Calls for EU Sanctions Targeting Russian 'Shadow Fleet'

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.22 - 2024 9:21 AM CET

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Photo: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
The next Russia sanctions must target the shadow oil fleet, according to Sweden.

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The European Union is considering a new package of sanctions that could target a fleet of tankers, often referred to as the "shadow fleet," suspected of transporting Russian oil to evade existing sanctions.

Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom discussed this proposal ahead of an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, according to a report by Reuters.

Focus of the New Sanctions Package

Billstrom mentioned that one of the primary objectives for the 14th EU sanctions package would be to curb the activities of the Russian shadow fleet. This term refers to a network of tankers designed to transport Russian oil without adhering to the sanctions imposed by the EU and other Western countries in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"We will ensure that we include an import ban on liquefied natural gas, as well as measures to curb the Russian shadow fleet," Billstrom stated as he arrived at the meeting.

The shadow fleet represents a significant loophole in the enforcement of international sanctions. These tankers often use various tactics to avoid detection, including switching off tracking systems, conducting ship-to-ship transfers, and using front companies to conceal their operations.

Targeting this fleet would require coordinated efforts from EU member states and international partners to close these gaps and ensure the effective implementation of sanctions.

Discussions about the upcoming sanctions package are still in their early stages, with no final decision expected during the Luxembourg meeting.

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