Russian ship seized as part of EU sanctions

Russian ship seized as part of EU sanctions

The Russian Embassy in Greece said Tuesday it was in contact with Greek authorities to discuss the seizure of a Russian oil tanker on the island of Evia, in line with European Union legislation that came into force on April 16 prohibiting the docking of Russian-flagged ships in EU ports due to the war in Ukraine.

The Russian-flagged Lana, with 19 Russian crew members on board, was seized by the Hellenic Coast Guard near Karystos on the southern coast of Evia, which lies just off the Greek mainland near the capital Athens.

A Shipping Ministry official said it was seized “as part of EU sanctions,” while a coast guard official said the ship’s crude oil cargo had not been confiscated.

The Lana had sailed from Marmaris to the southwest coast of Turkey loaded with crude oil.

According to information, it had been planning to transfer its cargo to another ship, south of Kalamata, between April 15 and 17.

During the voyage, the tanker suffered mechanical problems and with the assistance of a tug was transported on Friday to Karystos, where it remains. 

The seizure of the ship is said to have been made with the assistance of the security branch of the coast guard under the specific legislation. However, the ban does not apply to the cargo of the tanker as the sanctions do not apply to the movement of crude oil.

Other sources told Kathimerini on Tuesday that a bank with Russian interests, which is among the some 1,100 legal and natural entities targeted by financial sanctions imposed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, appears to be the owner of the Lana. The tanker has been sailing under the Russian flag since June 2020.

Until last summer it was called Perun. In June 2021 it was renamed Pegas, and on March 17, just three weeks after the Russian invasion, it changed its name, but not the flag.

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