Brussels reportedly wants to allow maritime pilots to be hired for tankers with Russian oil
The EU has proposed exempting the services of maritime pilots from sanctions on ships carrying Russian oil, Bloomberg reported on Sunday, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Maritime pilots are skilled navigators who guide vessels in coastal waters and narrow channels, and when entering and leaving ports.
The exception would allow companies to hire pilots for tankers with Russian oil, which is banned under the current sanctions that take effect from December.
The news comes after the Danish Maritime Authority told the Financial Times last week that the inability to use pilots for ships sailing through the sometimes-treacherous straits between the Baltic Sea and the North Sea will lead to significant safety and environmental risks.
The EU imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in February. Brussels announced the eighth round of restrictions on Wednesday after referendums on joining Russia were organized in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR), as well as two Russian-held territories in southern Ukraine.
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The two Donbass republics along with Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions overwhelmingly voted in favor of becoming parts of Russia. President Vladimir Putin signed the accession treaties on Friday.