Denmark tasked to inspect and arrest Russian oil tankers

Denmark to inspect and arrest Russian oil tankers in its waters

Denmark will be tasked with inspecting and, if necessary, blocking Russian oil tankers passing through its waters. About 60 percent of Russia's total seaborne oil exports pass through the Baltic Sea before they reach world markets.

Russian ships will have to be inspected because they will have no Western insurance papers.

The new rules will first be applied to tankers transiting through Danish straits without insurance from Western companies. Denmark will act in accordance with the law that empowers the state to inspect ships that may pose a threat to the environment.

European officials say that the requirement for proper insurance is justified because some of Russia's oil supplies are carried out with the use of so-called "shadow fleets" of old ships registered outside the jurisdiction of the countries that imposed restrictions. Such tankers may potentially lead to a major environmental disaster.

Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that governs maritime shipping a country is allowed to initiate legal proceedings and detain a ship if it has been clearly and objectively established that the ship poses a serious threat to coastal areas.

In reality, however, everything will depend on the ability of the Danish naval authorities to stop and inspect Russian tankers. It is also unknown what action Copenhagen will take if the ship refuses to stop.

A representative of the Danish Defence Command said that they do not check documents and ships passing through Danish straits unless the case is related to maritime safety.

The Danish government declined to comment. The European Commission did not comment on the proposed measures either.

The proposal to monitor ships in Danish straits appeared after Western officials admitted that Russian oil was barely selling below the price cap of $60 a barrel in October 2023. According to the Ministry of Finance, the average price of Russia's Urals oil brand was $81.52.

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Author`s name Petr Ermilin
Editor Dmitry Sudakov