Greenpeace blocks Russian oil tanker in Norway

Greenpeace blocks Russian oil tanker in Norway
Activists in the Oslo fjord. Credit: Greenpeace Norway

Greenpeace activists chained themselves to a Russian oil tanker in the Oslo fjord on Monday morning to prevent it from unloading its oil cargo "that finances Putin's war," the organisation announced.

Chartered by the Russian oil company Novatek, the tanker Uust Luga, registered in Hong Kong, is carrying 95,000 tonnes of paraffin bound for the Åsgårdstrand terminal in Esso, in southeast Norway. The tanker had departed from the Russian city of the same name, according to the Marine Traffic website.

Greenpeace activists in a dinghy chained themselves to the tanker's chains, while other activists in kayaks wielded "Oil fuels war" banners, the NGO said.

"I am shocked that Norway is acting as a haven for Russian oil that is known to fund Putin's war," Greenpeace Norway head Frode Pleym said in a statement.

Protests in Belgium

Greenpeace has countered Russian tankers' shipments in Belgium as well. On 10 April, activists in the Port of Antwerp chained themselves to a port lock, denying entry to Russian ship Seychelles Pioneer, which was said to be carrying 33,000 tonnes of diesel.

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Environmental organisation Rise for Climate partnered with Belgian-registered advocacy group Promote Ukraine in a similar move, protesting Russian oil shipments in the Port of Antwerp on 16 April. In addition to stopping reliance on Russian oil, the organisations, including Greenpeace, hope to reduce oil use in general to combat climate change.

However, the Russian shipment in Oslo's port may face a different situation. According to Anne Fougner, spokeswoman for Esso Norway, the Uust Luga's shipment is not affected by Western sanctions against Russia in connection with its invasion of Ukraine. "The order was placed before Russia invaded Ukraine," she told Dagbladet newspaper.

While not a member of the European Union, Norway has applied nearly all of the sanctions imposed by the EU on Moscow since 18 March.

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