Turkish ships sailing to Ukraine and Russia are insured

The Turkish Ministry of Transport will provide insurance guarantees to Turkish ships en route to Ukrainian and Russian ports due to the risks in the Black Sea as a result of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the Yeni faafak newspaper reported.

The insurance guarantees will be issued by the Center for Specific Risk Management. The insurance guarantees will also cover planes flying to both countries, BTA reported.

The newspaper notes that under the insurance law, civil and aircraft operating in Ukraine and the Russian Federation, as well as passengers, crew, cargo, and vehicles themselves, will receive insurance guarantees. The publication reports that the Ministry of Transport has sent a letter to all industry structures and organizations stating that representatives of the sector, conducting maritime courses to Ukraine and the Russian Federation, can contact the Center for Specific Risk Management.

Russian ships change flags to hide ties with Moscow

Many more Russian-flagged vessels than usual changed flags from those of other countries in March, presumably to cover up ties with Moscow and avoid sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine, according to wind consulting firm Windward Ltd, Bloomberg TV Bulgaria reported.

A total of 18 ships, including 11 cargo ships from the same fleet, crossed non-Russian flags last month, Tel Aviv-based Windward said. This is more than three times the average for Russian ships. This is also the first time that their numbers have reached double digits, based on data from January 2020. “Some of these cases may indicate bad actors deliberately disguising their identities to do business that will not be allowed under the new sanctions, “the company said in a report shared with Bloomberg News.

The change of flags is taking place as other Russian vessels, from oil tankers to million-dollar yachts owned by oligarchs, begin to turn off their location identification and transmission systems, which must always be on while the vessels are at sea. Practice helps to avoid detecting them and can pose risks to maritime safety. The United States, Britain, and other allies have stepped up sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February. US President Joe Biden issued an executive order on March 8 to ban imports of Russian oil and gas, while the United Kingdom said it would phase out oil imports by the end of the year. Both countries, along with Canada, have also banned Russian ships from entering their ports.

“Foreign companies have different motives for crossing the Russian flag, they want their ships to be able to operate anywhere without restrictions and in some cases for moral reasons,” said Windward product manager Gur Sender. Of the 18 ships, three are tankers – two of which carry oil, according to Windward. Five who changed flags in March are directly linked to Russian owners. Eleven cargo ships are from the same fleet, owned by a company from the United Arab Emirates, and they all changed the flag to that of the Marshall Islands. Three ships changed the flag to that of Saint Kitts and Nevis. Changing flags is not necessarily uncommon – it sometimes happens due to a change in ownership or area of ​​operation, Sander said. The average monthly value for Singapore’s ships in 2021 is 17 flag changes, while Japan has an average of five per month this year. However, these numbers remain constant. Changes in the Russian fleet of 3,300 vessels have jumped abruptly, never exceeding more than nine in any month since January 2020, according to Windward data.

“What makes flag changes interesting is when they are made following trade restrictions against a particular country, especially when one of the managers or owners of companies is registered in that same limited country,” Sender said. In a warning last May about fraudulent shipping practices, the US Treasury Department warned that “bad participants can falsify the flags of their ships to disguise illegal trade.” They can also repeatedly register in new countries (“skipping the flag”) to avoid detection. “The practice is likely to become more widespread if the war in Ukraine continues, said Ian Ralby, chief executive of the I.R. Consilium. Ships flying the flags of the Marshall Islands and the Caribbean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis are less likely to attract attention and control. “They want to avoid disclosure.”

"Nothing is impossible" in France today with almost equal chances for Macron and Le Pen Previous post “Nothing is impossible” in France today with almost equal chances for Macron and Le Pen
Erdogan held key talks on Ukraine and gas Next post Erdogan held key talks on Ukraine and gas