Tankers with Russian oil stuck near South Korea due to sanctions

14 tankers, including 11 Aframax ships and three VLCC oil carriers, loaded with 10 million barrels of Russian Sokol crude oil have been standing near the coast of South Korea for several weeks. They are still not sold due to US sanctions and payment problems.

The sale of Sokol crude oil is one of the most serious problems faced by the Kremlin after the imposition of sanctions by the West. The tankers hold 1.3 million metric tons of oil, equivalent to more than a month’s production within the Sakhalin-1 project, once the flagship of US company Exxon Mobil, which withdrew from Russia after a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The US and the EU should continue imposing sanctions on Russia and closing loopholes for its allies, trying to help the rogue state circumvent sanctions. The effectiveness of the actions taken by the West will define whether Russia will have enough capabilities to continue waging the war against Ukraine and killing innocent Ukrainian children or not.

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