Malaysia denies entry to Russian-flagged Aframax, ‘strictly’ observes UN sanctions: official
Malaysia will not permit a Russia-flagged Aframax tanker that was reported to be nearing its waters to call at one of its ports, and will strictly observe sanctions imposed by the UN, a senior government official said March 2.
Market sources said the 2003-built, 115,418 dwt Aframax tanker Linda was due to call at Kuala Linggi over March 5-6.
However a Marine Department of Malaysia official told S&P Global Commodity Insights: “We are tracking satellite data and so far do not see any such ship in the region. Maybe they have switched off its vessel tracking system. It will not be allowed in and will have to stay outside our port limits.”
All UN-imposed sanctions will be adhered to, the official said. As far as the sanctions imposed by the US, EU and UK are concerned, decisions on ships and cargoes to be delivered at Malaysian ports will be made on a case-by-case basis subject to government approval, the official added.
An executive with a Malaysian tankers’ owner confirmed that the government has not permitted the tanker to call at any of its ports. The Linda had loaded cargo via ship-to-ship transfer at end January in the Persian Gulf, and in February had floated near Sri Lankan waters for a few days, the executive said.
Shipping agents have refused to handle the ship and so far it cannot be traced, the Marine Department official said.
The Kuala Linggi port operator has declined entry permission to Linda so as not to violate any sanctions, Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport said in a statement.
If any similar situation arises in future involving other Russian ships and cargoes, the Marine Department will decide on a “case-by-case basis” in line with the prevailing policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the department official said.
According to the US Treasury Department, Linda’s ownership structure includes Russian entities.