Russian Tanker With 100 Tonnes Of Fuel Unattended In S. Korea Due To US Sanctions - Owner

VLADIVOSTOK (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th December, 2019) Russian shipowner Gudzon had to remove the crew from the US-sanctioned vessel Partizan, which stays in the South Korean port of Pohang with 100 tonnes of fuel oil, because no one wants to sell fuel there, Oleg Anikin, the company's deputy general director, told Sputnik.

In August 2018, the United States added two Russian companies, including Gudzon, and six vessels, including the Partizan, to the list of sanctions related to North Korea. The US Treasury Department claimed that the vessels on the list had allegedly participated in the delivery of refined petroleum products to North Korea, which, presumably, were pumped from Russian to North Korean vessels in high seas. The company refutes evidence of involvement in these deliveries.

"We removed the crew from the Partizan ship in South Korea. The ship is under sanctions, the Koreans do not sell fuel, saying that all fuel companies are afraid of secondary sanctions," Anikin said. "We went to the Russian consulate in South Korea, we also found a representative of the ITF [International Transport Federation] who promised to help find fuel. But a week later he apologized and said that he couldn't."

The company also appealed to the port captain to get diesel fuel from state reserves, but he refused.

"There was no electricity on the vessel, the crew had to be moved to a hotel. The port captain eventually removed the sailors from the vessel, the ship was moved to a quieter place. Now the sailors are already at home, the vessel is without a crew. And there are 100 tonnes of fuel oil. There is great concern, that there could be a spill there without supervision. Yesterday we sent a letter to the Russian government to help us," Anikin said.

He clarified that the company was trying to sell the vessel, but failed to find a buyer because of sanctions.