Friday, November 25, 2016

Russian Tankers Suspected of Smuggling Jet Fuel to Syria

Moscow Authorities Dismiss the Issue
Shipping News Feature
SYRIA – RUSSIA – At least two Russian flagged tankers are accused of violating EU sanctions by delivering jet fuel to Assad regime ports in Syria, according to Reuters. EU intelligence sources are stated to have identified the Yaz and Mukhalatka as having delivered fuel that is suspected to have been used in Russian and Syrian aircraft in their bombing campaign against rebels in the country.

Ship tracking sites confirm that the two vessels, sailing from Cyprus in September and October, switched off their transponders when approaching the Syrian coast. Over one, two-week period in October, the tankers are thought to have delivered 20,000 metric tonnes of jet fuel to Syria, which is in violation of EU Council Regulation 1323/2014 banning any supply of jet fuel to Syria from the EU territories, irrespective of whether the fuel originated in the European Union.

However, the Russian Defence Ministry has said that EU sanctions on fuel supplies to Syria could not be applied to the Russian task force in the country.

The tanker Yaz, which is owned by St. Petersburg-based Transpetrochart, had been investigated by Greek maritime authorities in September on suspicion of breaking EU sanctions, but was released.

Photo: The Muhalatka