Greece confiscated a Russian oil tanker off the island of Evia. This was announced on Tuesday by the Greek Coast Guard as part of European Union sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this month, the EU banned Russian-flagged ships from entering the ports of the bloc’s 27 countries, with some exceptions, as it imposed new large-scale sanctions against Russia over what the Kremlin called a “special military operation.”
A Russian-flagged Pegas with a deadweight of 115,500 tons and 19 Russian crew members was captured near Caristos on the south coast of the island of Evia, not far from Athens. The Russian embassy in Athens, the Greek capital, said on Twitter that it was investigating the case and was in contact with Greek authorities on the issue. “It was confiscated as part of EU sanctions,” said a spokesman for the Greek Ministry of Shipping. A Coast Guard spokesman said the ship’s oil cargo had not been confiscated. It is unclear who is the cargo charterer, but the ship is operated by the Russian company Transmorflot.
The Pegas, which was renamed the Lana in March, had previously reported engine problems. It was heading to the southern Peloponnese to reload its cargo on another tanker, but due to rough seas it had to be moored near Caristos, where it was captured, the Athens News Agency reported. The ship was still moored in Karistos Bay on Tuesday afternoon, Reuters eyewitnesses said.
The American human rights group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), which monitors the movement of tankers associated with Iran through satellite monitoring of ships, reported that the Pegas ship loaded about 700 thousand barrels of crude oil from the Iranian island of Sirri on August 19, 2021. Subsequently, the ship tried to unload cargo in a Turkish port and then go to Greece, according to the analysis of UANI.