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Russia Concerned About Oil Tanker Congestion on Turkish Shipping Lanes

Russia is concerned about the congestion of oil tankers on Turkey’s important shipping routes through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles because of stricter Turkish rules on insurance for those ships.

That is what Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko said to the RIA news agency. He said talks are underway with insurance companies and transportation companies about the matter.

At least 20 tankers are currently barred from Turkey under a new rule that requires Turkish authorities to require additional proof from oil tankers that they are insured before they are allowed to pass through those straits. That rule went into effect on Friday. Tankers, therefore, have to provide more guarantees about their insurance against, for example, collisions or oil spills.

The rule applies to tankers carrying oil from Russia and Kazakhstan from the Black Sea through Turkish waters. Moscow says it is monitoring the situation and is concerned about the congestion. If the problem is not solved, it will be discussed at the political level, said Groesjko.

Since Monday, the West has imposed a price cap on Russian oil by sea transport. As a result, that oil cannot be sold for more than $60 a barrel. In addition, insurers cannot provide insurance to tankers from which Russian oil is sold for a higher price.

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