European Union to consider sanctions against Russia's shadow fleet at Sweden's request
Tobias Billström (Photo: EPA / OLIVIER HOSLET)

Sweden insists on the introduction of sanctions against Russian oil tankers, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, Tobias Billström, on Monday before the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union.

Discussions of the new, 14th package of sanctions against Russia are just beginning, but Billström has already outlined the restrictions that his country will insist on.

"The adoption of the 14th package of sanctions is one of the most important things. We will make sure that it includes a ban on the import of liquefied natural gas, as well as measures to curb the Russian shadow fleet," the minister said.

Last week, he warned that Russia's use of old tankers to transport oil to circumvent price restrictions was a threat to the ecology of the Baltic Sea.

About half of all Russian oil transported by sea passes through this sea.

"We will all be affected if there were a major problem arising from a collision or oil leakage from one of these ships, which also in many cases are not seaworthy, or very close to not being seaworthy. Russia doesn’t care one bit, apparently, about the fact that these ships could cause major environmental havoc in seas," said Billström in an interview with The Guardian.

The 13th package of individual and economic sanctions was approved by the Council of the European Union in February 2024 – on the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

On February 23, on the eve of the second anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States imposed sanctions against the Sovcomflot. After that, Russia started massively transferring its oil tankers to the Gabon flag.