June 15, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Houthis attacked a tanker with Russian oil loaded in Greece

The Trafigura Group tanker Marlin Luanda was fired upon by Yemen’s Houthis on January 26. It transported Russian petroleum products for the production of gasoline and plastics; the raw materials were loaded onto a ship in Greece.

This indicates a violation of sanctions by the carrier EU and the USA for the export of Russian petroleum products, reports Bloomberg news agency on Saturday, January 27.

The missile strike occurred approximately 55 miles southeast of the city of Aden and a fire broke out on board the tanker. The publication notes that the incident indicates an insufficient weakening of the military potential of the Houthis by the United States and their allies.

According to the analytical company Kpler, the tanker picked up its cargo of Russian origin in a “ship-to-ship transfer” from a section of the Gulf of Laconia in southern Greece, which plays a key role in the supply of Russian oil to the world market. Trafigura, along with other commodity traders such as Glencore Plc, Vitol Group and Gunvor Group, was one of the largest suppliers of oil from the Russian Federation before its war in Ukraine.

Following the introduction of US, European and UK sanctions against Russian energy exports, Trafigura moved away from these flows. The company’s CEO Jeremy Ware said that while the company continues to trade small volumes of petroleum products from Russia, this position has been reviewed. The publication notes:

“The fact that the company took the cargo via ship-to-ship transfer off the coast of Greece sheds light on how one of the world’s largest commodity traders is resorting to less transparent means to continue to facilitate the export of petroleum products from Russia, while everything in Ukraine The war is still going on.”

Trafigura operator reported BBCthat the impact caused a fire in one of the ship’s cargo tanks, and firefighting equipment was used to contain it.

US officials told BBC’s US partner CBS that the tanker was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile and a warship responded to its distress call. Authorities said there were no injuries.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations Office (UKMTO) said the incident occurred 60 nautical miles southeast of Aden. The UKMTO said warships were present and supporting the vessel, adding that all crew were reported to be safe. The agency warned other vessels to exercise caution and report any suspicious activity.

US Central Command (CENTCOM) said it struck a Houthi anti-ship missile that was preparing to be launched into the Red Sea on the night of January 27.

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