Denmark will be able to block tankers with Russian oil. What is the new EU plan?

In accordance with the new plan of the European Union, Denmark will be instructed check and, if necessary, block tankers carrying Russian oil passing through its waters. About 60 percent of Russia’s total seaborne oil exports pass through the Baltic Sea to reach world markets.

The reason for the inspection will be the lack of Western insurance on the vessels.

First of all, the rules will apply to tankers transiting through the Danish straits without insurance from Western companies. Denmark will operate under laws that give states the right to inspect ships they deem to pose a threat to the environment.

European officials say the requirement for proper insurance is justified because some of Russia’s oil supplies are carried out on so-called “shadow fleets” of old ships that are registered outside the jurisdiction of states that have imposed sanctions restrictions. Such tankers are said to have a higher risk of breakdown or spillage, and could potentially lead to a major environmental disaster.

Photo: Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

Denmark’s actions will depend on the naval authorities’ ability to stop and inspect tankers

Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which governs maritime shipping, a country is allowed to initiate legal proceedings and detain a ship if there is “clear objective evidence” that it poses a serious threat to coastal areas. However, in reality everything will depend on the ability of the Danish naval authorities to stop and inspect tankers. It is also unknown what action Copenhagen will take if the ship refuses to stop.

A representative of the Danish Defense Command explained that the country does not check documents and ships passing through the straits unless the case is related to maritime safety.

Meanwhile, the Danish government declined to comment. The European Commission also did not comment on the proposed measures, but noted that its chairman Ursula von der Leyen promised to take further “measures to tighten oil prices.”

Photo: Alexander Manzyuk / Reuters

The West wanted to force Russia to reduce the cost of oil sold

The EU’s proposal to monitor ships in the Danish straits came after Western officials admitted that in October 2023, Russian oil was barely selling below $60 a barrel, the price cap imposed by the EU and G7 countries at the end of 2022. of the year. According to the Ministry of Finance, in October the average price of the Russian Urals oil amounted to $81.52.

Thus, the West is trying to enforce a price cap that Russia has learned to avoid.

Russia called on Denmark and the EU to comply with international shipping rules

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov responded to reports about the possibility of detention of Russian ships by Denmark. According to him, it is impossible to comment on this information at this stage, since the Kremlin has no evidence of the EU preparing for such actions.

On the other hand, everyone should be warned in advance about the need to comply with all the rules of international commercial shipping

Dmitry Peskov

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