- Russia is concerned about a build-up of oil tankers in the Bosphorus Strait.
- It is discussing the issue with insurance and transport companies.
- At least 20 oil tankers queuing off Turkey face more delays to cross from Russia’s Black Sea ports to the Mediterranean.
Turkish maritime authorities issued a notice asking for additional guarantees from insurers that transit through the Bosphorus would be covered starting from the beginning of this month.
Ban On Imports
“If the problem is not solved, of course, there will be involvement on the political level.” Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Grushko said. The European Union banned all seaborne Russian crude imports from Dec. 5, with a fuel import ban to follow in February.
It also banned companies and individuals in the bloc from providing financing, brokerage, shipping and insurance services to ship Russian oil elsewhere if the crude was bought above a price cap of $60 a barrel.
Disruptions in tanker traffic from Russia’s Black Sea ports to the Mediterranean are a result of a new Turkish insurance rule, not the price cap on Russian oil agreed by a coalition of G7 countries and Australia. Kazakhstan, a large oil exporter, said that the build-up of the oil tankers at the Bosphorus is normal during the winter season.
“The waiting time in the Bosphorus and Dardanelles is six days for now. For the winter season, this is a normal wait; last year, the wait in the straits in December was about 14 days,” Kazakhstan’s Energy Ministry said in a statement.
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