Potential for Russia to Seize Vessels

Potential for Russia to Seize Vessels
There is a potential for Russia to use the ambit of procedural issues as a pretext for the effective seizure of vessels.

There is a potential for Russia to use the ambit of procedural/approval issues as a pretext for the effective detention or seizure of vessels at Russian ports, should Russia deem this to be advantageous.

That’s according to Dryad Global’s latest Triton Scout Maritime Security Threat Assessment (MSTA), which was updated on March 14.

“On 8 March 22, Russia indicated that all corporate deals with companies and individuals from ‘unfriendly countries’ will now have to be approved by a government commission,” Dryad’s latest MTSA stated.

“The announcement from Russia is assessed to be deliberately vague so as to create the conditions of commercial uncertainty and allow for a degree of flexibility and possible reprisal action in the face of further unfavorable sanctions by listed countries towards Russia,” the MTSA added.

“Whilst it is unclear whether the term ‘corporate deal’ refers to the specific acts of vessels from these countries calling at Russian ports, it is clear that under the recent announcement there is a potential for Russia to use the ambit of ‘procedural/approval issues’ as a pretext for the effective detention or seizure of vessels at Russian ports should Russia deem this to be advantageous,” the MTSA continued.

On March 3, Dryad Global noted on its site that reporting from the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority reported that the Panamanian flagged cargo vessel HELT (IMO8402589) had been struck whilst anchored 23nm ESE of Odessa Port. In its February 28 MTSA, Dryad stated that, since the outbreak of hostilities, a number of vessels had been struck by missiles within waters south of the Ukrainian port of Odessa.

On March 14, NATO Shipping Centre (NSC) announced that the risk of collateral damage or direct hits on civilian shipping in the North Western Black Sea area are considered “very high”.

“There are strong indicators that the intensity of military operations along the Ukrainian Black Sea coastline and in the Gulf of Odessa are increasing,” the NSC noted in a statement posted on its website.

“The risk of GPS jamming, AIS spoofing, communications jamming, electronic interference and cyber-attacks in the area are considered high. Harassment and diversion of shipping in the area cannot be excluded,” NSC added in the statement.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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