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Russian LNG tanker diverts from UK amid port ban

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A tanker carrying Russian liquefied natural gas canceled its scheduled arrival at a UK terminal even though a ban on Russian ships using British ports doesn’t apply to ships carrying cargo from Russia.

The Fedor Litke, a Cyprus-flagged LNG vessel laden with a cargo from Yamal in northern Russia, changed its destination Tuesday after previously signaling it was headed to the UK’s Isle of Grain terminal, ship-tracking and port data show. There’s no Russian LNG scheduled for British ports in the foreseeable future, the data shows.

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UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Britain’s ports earlier this week not to provide access to Russian ships, as the country moved to further expand its sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s regime in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine. The order doesn’t apply to ships carrying cargo from or to Russia as long as they aren’t Russian ships, a government spokesman said Wednesday.

At least seven tankers with Russian LNG including the Fedor Litke headed toward or in the northwest Europe area are signaling “for orders,” meaning their destination is yet to be set by the vessels’ operators.

One ship, the Christophe de Margerie, changed its destination from Montoir, France, to the open-ended signaling early Wednesday. Montoir port data still shows the tanker’s expected March 5 arrival.

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