Putin ‘causing havoc’ as furious Sweden sounds alarm over ‘dangerous’ ships in Baltic Sea

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024

Russia has been accused of creating “environmental havoc” due to its use of unseaworthy tankers to transport its sanctioned oil through the Baltic Sea.

Sweden’s foreign minister Tobias Billström called for new rules and enforcement mechanisms to prevent the ageing and uninsured Russian shadow fleet causing an environmental catastrophe.

Putin has turned to a dark fleet of uninsured and ageing ships to get around Western oil sanctions imposed on Russian oil.

The fleet consists of between 400 to 650 vessels, with two-thirds estimated to be oil tankers.

According to S&P Global, 98 percent of the medium and large oil tankers are high risk or have no identifiable owner. Most of the ships sale under the flag of the African country Gabon.

Norway estimates that an average of 12 shadow vessels, typically transporting Russian oil, traverse its waters every day.

Mr Billström said the dark tanker fleet was posing a serious threat to the environment as well as filling the Kremlin’s war coffers.

“The fact that they are transporting oil, which fuels Russian aggression against Ukraine is bad enough,” he told The Guardian.

“But even worse is the fact that Russia doesn’t care one bit, apparently, about the fact that these ships could cause major environmental havoc in seas, which if you take the Baltic Sea is sensitive as it is.”

The fleet allows the Kremlin to bypass Western attempts to impose a price cap of $60 per barrel on its oil.

Under the terms of the cap, Russia cannot purchase maritime insurance for its ships, if it sells its oil for a higher price.

In practice as little as 20 percent of Russian oil is sold below the price cap, thanks to the shadow fleet.

China is currently the main buyer of Russian fossil fuels, with imports reaching $30 billion in 2023.

Surprisingly, the EU is the next biggest consumer of the Kremlin’s fossil fuels, despite no longer importing coal from Russia since August 2022.

European countries imported $18.4 billion of fossil fuels in a 60/40 split of crude oil and natural gas respectively in 2023.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Putin ‘causing havoc’ as furious Sweden sounds alarm over ‘dangerous’ ships in Baltic Sea”
  1. It’s truly concerning to see Russia’s disregard for the environment with their dangerous fleet. The actions of Putin and his shadow vessels are not only risking environmental disasters but also undermining efforts towards peace and stability.

  2. Putin is clearly ignoring environmental concerns by allowing these dangerous tankers to traverse the Baltic Sea. It’s alarming to see the lack of care for our precious marine ecosystems. Sweden is right to demand stricter regulations to prevent this potential catastrophe.

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