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Türkiye to bar uninsured oil tankers from passing through its straits

Crude oil tankers that cannot provide proof of valid protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance are barred from passing through the Turkish straits, the country's Transportation and Infrastructure Ministry said on Thursday.

In an official press release, the ministry's Directorate General of Maritime Affairs said that due to the EU sanctions, the P&I coverage of many ships had become invalid, thus taking compensation in the event of an accident off the table.

"This has been confirmed both by the relevant EU directive and by high-level government agencies in Europe," said the statement.

"Türkiye is not obliged to implement the sanctions decisions of other countries and international organizations, except for the sanction decisions taken by the United Nations Security Council," it added.

"We do not take the risk that the insurance company will not cover its liability in the event of a catastrophic accident that may occur if a sanctioned ship or cargo passes through the Turkish Straits."

Noting that oil tankers able to confirm their coverage have continued to pass through the Turkish Straits as usual after Dec. 1, when the measure began to be taken, the statement said the number of ships in the Black Sea awaiting passage was not as high as suggested by news reports.

The statement also said it was unacceptable for the number of ships, 11 out of 15 of which are going to EU ports, to be used as a means to pressure Türkiye.

Ships unable to produce the necessary documents proving their insurance coverage will not be allowed through the straits, it added.

Source: Anadolu Agency