Criticism when Russian ship unloads in Sweden: “Business as usual for the Russians”

Charlie Taylor

“Diluted” and “ineffective”. The unions in the ports are critical of the EU’s new sanctions when a Russian ship is now granted an exemption to unload its cargo in Oxelösund. “It is not the case that we have any alternative here,” says Michael Koch, unit manager at the Swedish Board of Trade.Published: 22 April 2022, 20:21Recently introduced the EU member states a fifth sanction package against Russia, which means, among other things, that Russian-flagged ships are no longer allowed to dock in EU ports. However, the package contains a large number of exceptions for various goods, including transport with food, medicines, humanitarian aid, gas and oil. Aluminum is also on the exemption list and now a Russian ship from St. Petersburg has loaded with aluminum to Swedish industry has been granted a waiver to unload in the port of Oxelösund, which Ekot in Swedish Radio reported on. watered down already before. That you are then so willing to give exemptions, it is remarkable “, he says to TT and continues:” Now it will be ‘business as usual’ for the Russians. “The dockworkers’ union has an ongoing blockade against Russian ships and Russian goods, but Martin Berg would above all like to see tougher sanctions from the government. Trade Union Transport, which is the second union in the ports, has previously announced a blockade of Russian, Russian-flagged and Russian-controlled ships from 1 May. The issue will now be discussed at the beginning of next week, but the warning about the blockade will probably remain, according to Transport’s union chairman Tommy Wreeth. who are not Russian, Russian-flagged or Russian-controlled “, he says. Tommy Wreeth shares the view that EU sanctions are” diluted “, not least because they only cover ships that are Russian-flagged or registered in Russia.” In principle, more than half are excluded of ships from Russia that are flagged for convenience. Then you list so many exceptions in types of goods. I would think that between 80 and 90 percent of the goods to Sweden are the exception “, he says. The Swedish Chamber of Commerce, Sweden’s authority for foreign trade, is responsible on behalf of the government for the part of the sanctions that apply to the ban on Russian ships in EU ports. So far, the approved application for the vessel in Oxelösund is the only one that has been received.The authority thus takes not a position on anything other than whether the ship has the cargo stated in the application, according to Michael Koch. ”It is not the case that we have any alternative here. If there is a reason for an exception and someone applies for that reason, we may try to establish that the vessel is loaded with aluminum and then we give an exception according to the regulation. Should the ship be loaded with something else, you must not unload it. ”TT

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