Sovcomflot tankers find refuge in the Bahamas amid mounting sanctions

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The logo of Russian shipping company Sovcomflot is seen on the multifunctional rescue ship ‘Yevgeny Primakov’ moored in central St Petersburg, Russia February 3, 2018. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo

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HOUSTON, March 7 (Reuters) – At least three tankers controlled by Russian maritime powerhouse Sovcomflot (FLOT.MM) that were unable to deliver their cargoes due to Western sanctions have been rerouted to the Bahamas, data showed on Monday. vessel tracking.

Russian state-owned Sovcomflot was blacklisted by the United States last month over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Britain and Canada have also banned Russian-flagged, operated or owned ships from docking in their ports.

Tankers and tankers Sovcomflot SCF Don, SCF Neva and SCF Ussuri have reported the Bahamas as their destination since the weekend, after being re-routed from other countries, according to Refinitiv Eikon tracking data.

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It showed that some of the ships have started offloading the Caribbean nation through ship-to-ship transfers – a move by some receiving companies to avoid direct dealings with Russia-related assets at the terminals, said said an insurance industry source.

Bahamas Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell said on Monday the country had not made a formal decision on sanctions.

“It’s an evolving story. I’ll brief the caucus tonight and I’ll brief cabinet in the morning,” he said on the sidelines of an event in Nassau.

Bahamas Attorney General Ryan Pinder declined to comment.

The United States has yet to impose a broader ban on other Russian tanker operators, but said it is considering energy sanctions as it continues to pressure the Russian economy.

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Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston, Jonathan Saul in London and Jasper Ward in Nassau Editing by Marguerita Choy

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