Sanctions? Sovcomflot Russia’s Largest Shipping Company

The shocking news which we were expecting but didn’t want to happen, did, when Putin invaded Ukraine on Thursday 24th February. Since that act of imperialist aggression, politicians have been appearing on TV and social media condemning the act, and rightly so.

For UK Tory PM Boris Johnson it was a bit tricky given his party’s links with Russian big money.

And while we saw images of Russian citizens bravely taking to the streets to protest against Putin’s invasion of a neighbouring country, and while across Europe ordinary people also protested or signed petitions – for some it was business as usual.

This was certainly the case for Sovcomflot,  “Russia’s largest shipping company, and one of the global leaders in the maritime transportation of hydrocarbons, as well as the servicing and support of offshore exploration and oil & gas production.” Wikipedia

On Wednesday, 23rd February Sovcomflot’s NS Challenger which sails under a Liberian flag, loaded oil at Sullom Voe, Shetland.

Sovcomflot’s NS Champion, which also sails under a Liberian flag, left the port of Birkenhead today, 25th February, and is due in at Flotta, Orkney on Tuesday March 1st.

Boris Johnson 24th February 2022,

“I spoke to President Zelenskyy of Ukraine as the first missiles struck his beautiful and innocent country and its brave people, and I assured him of the unwavering support of the United Kingdom.

“At the G7 meeting this afternoon, we agreed to work in unity to maximise the economic price that Putin will pay for his aggression.

“And this must include ending Europe’s collective dependence on Russian oil and gas that has served to empower Putin for too long.

“With new financial measures we are taking new powers to target Russian finance. 

“These powers will also enable us to ban Russian state and private companies from raising funds in the UK, banning dealing with their securities and making loans to them.

“And to our Ukrainian friends in this moment of agony, I say we are with you, and we are on your side.

“Your right to choose your own destiny is a right that the United Kingdom and our allies will always defend.”

Javier Blas, columnist with Bloomberg tweeted on February 24th:

“European utilities are set to buy tomorrow more Russian natural gas (from Gazprom) via Ukraine pipelines. Yes, you read that right: Europe will be buying more natural gas. From Russia. Via Ukraine. Tomorrow.”


Fiona Grahame

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