The UK’s Secretary of State for Transport has requested that UK ports not provide access for Russian vessels.

In a letter to all UK ports and posted on his twitter account, Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP asked all UK ports not to provide access to any Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered or operated vessels. The government would seek to support ports in identifying vessels within scope of its access ban request and would contact ports directly, he added.

New legislation is expected to enforce the request in due course. 

“Russia’s assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state,” said Shapps. “The maritime sector is fundamental to international trade and we must play our part in restricting Russia’s economic interests and holding the Russian government to account.”

“In these circumstances the Department for Transport does not consider it appropriate for Russian vessels to continue to enter UK ports.  From this point onwards, UK ports are asked not to provide access to any ship which they have reason to believe is: Owned, controlled, chartered, or operated by any person connected with Russia; Owned, controlled, chartered or operated by Designated Persons; Flying the Russian flag; Registered in Russia.”

Shapps added that detailed sanctions against Russian shipping were under development and would be shared “very shortly.”

The announcement comes a day before a Sovcomflot tanker was expected to collect a cargo from Scotland. NS Champion was due to call Flotta terminal at the very north of Scotland at Orkney. The loading attracted media attention in the UK and calls from Orkney’s MP to prevent the Russian vessel from loading cargo. Sovcomflot has been targeted by US sanctions in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but not UK sanctions.

Source: Seatrade Maritime News