UK Becomes the First Country to Officially Ban All Ships Connected to Russian Interests

Dilbar became the first Russian superyacht to be seized, following the new legislation passed by European countries 7 photos
Photo: Lurssen
Dilbar is the first Russian superyacht to be seizedDilbar is the first Russian superyacht to be seizedDilbar is the first Russian superyacht to be seizedDilbar is the first Russian superyacht to be seizedDilbar is the first Russian superyacht to be seizedDilbar is the first Russian superyacht to be seized
Ports in the UK are working together with authorities to properly identify all vessels with Russian interests and restrict their access after Britain became the first nation to officially ban all Russian ships from its waters. It’s not a very easy task, and some fear the economic impact, but the ports have already started implementing these drastic measures.
After the UK and the EU banned Russian aircraft from their skies last week, Britain took another bold step by becoming the first country to officially also ban Russian vessels. The announcement was made by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps on Tuesday, stating “a total ban of all ships with any Russian connection.” Following that decision, UK ports are now working on identifying and blocking these ships.

According to Tim Morris, chief executive of trade association “the UK Major Ports Group,” identifying Russian-flagged vessels is not a difficult operation, but things get complicated when it comes to identifying ships that are owned or operated by companies with Russian interests.

Morris told the BBC that the vessels that were already in UK ports have been packed up and sent away as fast as possible, while the ones that were on their way to British ports have either diverted their routes or anchored off until they decide what to do next.

It's not just luxury private yachts that are forbidden from entering these ports, but also commercial ships, which inevitably led to some concerns regarding the transportation of essential supplies from Russia to the UK. According to the BBC, in 2020, the Eastern state was the UK’s largest source of diesel, followed by the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.

However, RAC’s (the Royal Automotive Club) fuel spokesman Simon Williams stated that the ban on ships is not likely to affect fuel prices because the diesel coming from Russia can be shipped to the UK by cargo companies in other countries. Plus, there are other suppliers that Britain can rely on. It’s probably too early to tell what the exact impact that this recent ban will have, but the EU is likely to follow UK’s decision soon.

As far as Russian ships are concerned, this ban came along with the decision to seize the vessels of those with Russian interests. Alisher Usmanov’s Dilbar has already been seized in Germany, and other superyachts will probably be next.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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