Sovcomflot ship bridge

The logo of Russian state shipping company Sovcomflot is seen on the multifunctional icebreaking standby vessel "Yevgeny Primakov" moored in central St. Petersburg, Russia February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo

Russian Sovcomflot Tankers Find Sanctions Refuge in the Bahamas

Reuters
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March 7, 2022
Reuters

By Marianna Parraga

HOUSTON, March 7 (Reuters) – At least three tankers controlled by Russian maritime powerhouse Sovcomflot that have been unable to deliver their cargoes due to Western sanctions have re-routed to the Bahamas, vessel tracking data showed on Monday.

Russian state-owned Sovcomflot was blacklisted by the United States last month over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Britain and Canada also banned vessels flagged, operated or owned by Russia from docking at their ports.

Sovcomflot oil and refined products tankers SCF Don, SCF Neva and SCF Ussuri since the weekend signaled the Bahamas as their destination, after rerouting from other nations, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data. 

It showed that some of the vessels have begun discharging off the Caribbean nation through ship-to-ship transfers – a move by some receiving companies to avoid direct dealings with Russia-related assets at terminals, an insurance industry source said.

Bahamian Minister of Foreign Affairs Fred Mitchell on Monday said the country has not made a formal decision over sanctions.

“It’s an evolving story. I will brief the parliamentary group this evening and will brief the Cabinet in the morning,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Nassau.

Bahamian Attorney General Ryan Pinder declined to comment. 

The United States has not yet imposed a wider ban on other Russian tanker operators, but has said it is considering energy sanctions as it continues putting pressure on Russia’s economy. 

(Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston, Jonathan Saul in London and Jasper Ward in NassauEditing by Marguerita Choy)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

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