Oil tanker (Photo:ru.wikipedia.org/wiki)

Russian oil tankers abandon Liberian and Marshall Islands flags due to U.S. sanctions

Russian oil tankers have stopped operating under the flags of Liberia and the Marshall Islands in response to the United States’ stricter enforcement of sanctions related to vessels registered under these flags, Reuters reported on March 6.

The move impacts numerous Russian tankers, which have lost the ability to utilize these flags over recent weeks.

It highlights the ties between the U.S. and the companies managing the ships under the Liberian and Marshall Islands flags, which are headquartered in Virginia, USA, and fall under American sanctions jurisdiction.

The previous extensive use of these flags posed a potential long-term vulnerability for Russia’s oil fleet, according to energy and sanctions experts. Even after changing flags outside of U.S. jurisdiction, the tankers would remain liable for any sanctions violations.

This situation creates “enduring liability and enduring risk,” said Craig Kennedy, an associate at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

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