Greece helps Russia bypass European oil sanctions: Reports
Greece is said to argue that no one in Europe would gain from Asian companies taking over Russian oil shipping.
Russia's maritime crude oil traffic has largely remained unchanged since the European Union closed its ports for Russian tankers in April after Greece ignored EU calls to ban Russian oil imports, media said.
Moscow has been shipping off 4.5 million barrels of oil worth $509 million per day, according to data obtained by Die Welt newspaper from London-based shipping monitor Lloyd’s List.
On Wednesday, Greece opposed a new draft package of sanctions against Russia in which chief EU Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen suggested a complete ban on Russian oil supplies, whether they come by land or sea.
Greece, which operates the world’s largest freighter fleet, has increased its share in Russia’s maritime oil shipments by a factor of three compared to last year, the German daily said.
Some 190 tankers reportedly docked at four Russian oil terminals in April, 76 of them were flying the Greek flag. More and more Greek freighters are carrying Russian crude to India, China, and South Korea.
Greece is said to argue that no one in Europe would gain from Asian companies taking over Russian oil shipping. The crisis in Ukraine has driven freight rates up 230%, making it an increasingly more lucrative business.
Similarly, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban blasted von der Leyen for "attacking" EU unity with a plan to ban Russian oil, saying it crosses a red line.
On state radio, Orban considered that "The European Commission president, intentionally or unintentionally, has attacked the European unity that had been worked out."
"From the first moment we made clear that there will be a red line... they have crossed this red line," he affirmed.