9th May 2022, 00:39
Published by GBC News
A controversial tanker carrying Russian oil is heading for Gibraltar.
The Sunny Liger had spent some time in Dutch waters but was seemingly unable to unload its cargo. The Ukrainian embassy in the Netherlands called on the Dutch government to demand its "immediate departure".
However, the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, says Gibraltar's rules already prevent the vessel entering British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, receiving any port service or offloading any Russian cargo.
The trade of oil and gas is generally not covered by the European Union’s sanctions against Russia.
According to Dutch media reports, the Sunny Liger - a 42,000-tonne tanker - had hoped to unload its diesel cargo at Amsterdam’s port but employees there refused to do so, with trade union backing. Previously, Swedish port workers had also refused to assist the vessel.
Ship tracking website MarineTraffic shows the Sunny Liger’s reported destination to be Gibraltar, where it is expected to arrive on Wednesday evening.
In response to GBC questions, the Government says it's quite common for tankers to state Gibraltar in their AIS Transponder as their next destination even if they're just heading to the Strait to await final orders. It says the Port Authority has an extensive list of pre-alerts in its system, and continues to monitor and investigate any hint of Russian connections for vessels calling at the port, as well as to reject calls on this basis.
The Government adds that it has been extremely well-prepared for the unprecedented breadth and depth of sanctions against Russia, and that the Financial Intelligence Unit has actively kept the financial services industry appraised of ongoing developments.