Oslo, AFP — Greenpeace activists in Norway blocked a Russian oil tanker from unloading its cargo near Oslo Monday, saying the shipment was helping to finance Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “warfare”.
The Hong Kong-registered Ust Luga, leased by Russian oil company Novatek, is carrying 95,000 tonnes of fuel bound for Esso’s terminal in southeast Norway, Greenpeace said in a statement.
The tanker was coming from its namesake Russian city, near Saint Petersburg, according to the Marine Traffic website.
Greenpeace activists in a small boat chained themselves to the ship, while others in kayaks unfurled banners reading “oil fuels war,” the group said.
Some activists were stopped by police before they could take part in the action.
“I am shocked that Norway is operating as a free port for Russian oil, which we now is financing Putin’s warfare,” Frode Pleym, head of Greenpeace Norway, said in the statement.
According to a spokeswoman for Esso Norway, the shipment in question was not affected by Western sanctions against Russia imposed over its invasion of Ukraine.
“The contracts were entered into before Russia invaded Ukraine,” Anne Fougner told newspaper Dagbladet.
“Esso Norway has no other contracts for products from Russia,” she added.
Although it is not a member of the European Union, Norway has matched almost all sanctions imposed by the EU on Moscow since March 18.