The role of the shadow fleet in the transportation of Russian oil is revealed
Since January, Greek ships have transported a total of 20 percent of all oil supplies from Russia and almost a third of the export of raw materials of the flagship Urals grade. According to this indicator, Greece was ahead of all other countries involved in the transportation of Russian oil. There are dozens of traders and shipping companies involved in the shadow fleet, which are difficult to track.
Despite all attempts to prevent the expansion of clandestine shipping activities, such a scheme to circumvent sanctions continues to be actively used in international waters near the Gulf of Laconia. The Greek authorities have no leverage over the owners of such vessels, as cargo transshipment takes place six miles from its coastline. Against this background, the owners of the domestic and shadow fleets collectively transported more than 70 percent of Russian oil cargo in the first nine months of 2023, experts concluded.
At the same time, owners of shadow fleet vessels often use flags of other countries to circumvent sanctions against Russian oil. In order to eradicate such practices, in early December, Western countries, led by the United States, increased pressure on Liberia, the Marshall Islands and Panama, under whose flags shell companies transport Russian energy resources in circumvention of sanctions. According to Lloyd's List Intelligence, almost 40 percent of the 535 tankers of the "shadow fleet" involved in transportation belong to companies registered in the Marshall Islands.