Greeks exit Russia trade as US tighten sanctions

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THREE major Greek shipping firms have stopped transporting Russian oil in recent weeks in order to avoid US sanctions now being imposed on some shipping firms carrying Russian oil, Reuters reports.

The development is a blow to Russia as it narrows the number of shipping firms that are ready to transport Russian oil to consumers in Asia, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and South America – although traders said Moscow still had enough shipping firms for now.

Greek shippers Minerva Marine, Thenamaris and TMS Tankers have stopped transporting Russia oil in recent weeks, the four traders said.

Thenamaris said it doesn’t comment on commercial matters. Minerva Marine and TMS Tankers didn’t respond to requests for comment.

All three firms were active shippers of Russian oil and fuels up until September-October when they started scaling down their involvement, according to the traders and data from shipping agents seen by Reuters.

The Greek shippers’ exit from the trade followed tighter US sanctions imposed on Russian oil shipments.

In October, Washington imposed the first sanctions on owners of tankers in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates carrying Russian oil above the G7’s price cap of US$60 a barrel. Last week, it imposed sanctions on three more ships.

The G7 countries introduced a price cap on Russian oil in late 2022, but had not previously enforced it. The price cap allows Western firms to provide shipping and insurance services for Russian crude as long as the oil is sold below $60 per barrel. The cap is designed to limit Russian export revenues.