Grant Shapps asks UK ports to deny access to Russian ships
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has written today to all UK ports asking them to deny access to any Russian-flagged and operated ships.
“Given Putin’s action in Ukraine, I’ve made clear these vessels are NOT welcome here with prohibiting legislation to follow,” he said in a tweet.
In a letter addressed to all UK ports, Shapps argued that the move is part of the UK’s package of sanctions to put an end to Putin’s invasion, saying the Department for Transport will help ports in identifying Russian vessels.
“The maritime sector is fundamental to international trade and we must play our part in restricting Russia’s economic interests and holding the Russian Government to account,” the letter read.
The decision was accepted by UK ports, who are working alongside the government as part of the sanctions’ plan.
“We must all play our part to stand against an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state,” said Tim Morris, chief executive of UK Major Ports Group.
According to some banning Russian ships will not be as easy as it was painted out to be.
“The ‘open port duty’ and contractual arrangements could make this difficult in some circumstances but we understand the UK Government is working on legislation to underpin this which will be published in the coming days,” said a spokesperson for the British Ports Association. “We expect this to only impact a relatively small number of vessels.”
” It will however be complex and require new legislation,” added a UK Chamber of Shipping spokesperson. “We will work closely with HMG to ensure that its measures have the best effect.”