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Home* News and Stories → Nor­we­gi­an die­sel sold to Rus­si­an fishing ships

Nor­we­gi­an die­sel sold to Rus­si­an fishing ships

Nor­we­gi­an die­sel for Rus­si­an ships? That was com­mon prac­ti­ce until just a few weeks ago. The ships in need for fuel did not sail to Nor­we­gi­an ports such as Lon­gye­ar­by­en, but the floa­ting fuel sta­ti­ons came to them, at sea – in shape of bun­ker ves­sels on the Barents Sea, both on the Nor­we­gi­an and on the Rus­si­an side of the mari­ti­me bor­der, accor­ding to AIS data of Nor­we­gi­an bun­ker ships.

This attrac­ted a lot of public atten­ti­on when it beca­me public in Novem­ber, with a wide agree­ment that this prac­ti­ce is unwan­ted seen in the light of the Rus­si­an war against the Ukrai­ne. Major sup­pli­ers on the Nor­we­gi­an mar­ket quick­ly distanced them­sel­ves from this trade and con­firm­ed not to deli­ver to Rus­si­an cus­to­mers, but could not gua­ran­tee this for smal­ler in-bet­ween dis­tri­bu­tors.

Russian ships, Bellsund

Fishing ships pre­fer to get sup­pli­es near the fishing grounds, rather than sai­ling to a distant ports. This image shows two Rus­si­an ships exchan­ging fish and goods in Bell­sund.

In ear­ly Decem­ber, the Nor­we­gi­an minis­try of for­eign affairs con­firm­ed that it is for­bidden for Nor­we­gi­an ships to sup­p­ly Rus­si­an ships at sea with fuel, as Sval­bard­pos­ten wro­te. This includes inter­na­tio­nal and Rus­si­an waters. To ful­fill old con­tracts, deli­veries were under cer­tain con­di­ti­ons legal until ear­ly March 2023 but not any­mo­re later. Sin­ce then, Rus­si­an ships can only buy Nor­we­gi­an fuel for their own use in cer­tain Nor­we­gi­an ports (Lon­gye­ar­by­en, Båts­fjord, Kir­kenes and Trom­sø). This is hard­ly attrac­ti­ve for most fishing ships as they don’t want to lea­ve their ope­ra­ting are­as.

Any deli­very at sea by Nor­we­gi­an ships to Rus­si­an cus­to­mers is, in other words, ille­gal sin­ce March. Sup­pli­ers who nevert­hel­ess deli­ver­ed die­sel bet­ween March and Novem­ber appear to have been una­wa­re or con­fu­sed about the legal situa­ti­on.

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last modification: 2023-12-19 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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