UK dockers set to refuse incoming Russian oil tankers

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Despite a government ban on Russian cargo ships coming to the UK, a loophole in the new legislation means Russian gas and oil could still arrive at UK ports.

Trade union Unison has said that the loophole means that two tankers; Boris Vilkitsky and Fedor Litke are bound for Grain LNG, with plans to unload on Sunday.

The union represents almost 200 employees at the Isle of Grain importation terminal which is owned by the National Grid.

Grain LNG is the largest terminal in Europe for importing liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is situated on a 600-acre site on the Isle of Grain near Rochester in Kent.

Despite legislation brought in to stop Russian ships from landing in the UK amid ongoing atrocities in Ukraine, the loophole could still allow Russian gas and oil entering British ports.

Unison is calling on Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to confirm that these two vessels will be prohibited from docking at the Thames Estuary site.

The trade union added that employees working at Grain LNG are angry that they may be asked to unload the ships’ cargoes. UNISON says they fear losing their jobs if they refuse once the Boris Vilkitsky and the Fedor Litke have anchored off the Isle of Grain.

Matt Lay, Head of Energy at Unison said: “The law passed speedily [the other day]should have made the Boris Vilkitsky and Fedor Litke turn back. But both vessels still seem to be very much Kent-bound.

“Grant Shapps must send these two ships packing. He needs to make it clear that all Russian ships are banned from every UK port and terminal.

“The workers at the National Grid terminal don’t want to touch the cargo given the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine.

“These staff are determined to show their support for the Ukrainian people and uphold the sanctions imposed against Russia.”

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