Due to the invasion of Ukraine, enraged dock workers in the United Kingdom are refusing to discharge Russian oil.
- Russian ships are unable to land in British ports due to tough sanctions, but products can still be transferred by international ships due to a loophole.
- Dock workers are defying Russia's invasion of Ukraine by refusing to unload Russian oil and gas at ports throughout the country.
- At this time, there is no Russian oil or gas blockade.
LONDON, UK — Dock workers in the United Kingdom are protesting Russia's invasion of Ukraine by refusing to unload Russian oil and gas at ports across the country.
Russian ships are not allowed to dock in British ports due to tough sanctions imposed by the British government. However, because there is currently no ban on Russian oil and gas, Russian commodities and energy can still be brought into the nation using foreign ships.
It appears that workers at these ports are now taking matters into their own hands.
A German-flagged vessel has been granted permission to berth at the nearby Tranmere Oil Terminal on the River Mersey, according to Essar Group, which operates the Stanlow refinery in northwest England. Sharon Graham, the general secretary of the Unite union in the United Kingdom, has stated that her members will "under no circumstances offload any Russian oil regardless of the nationality of the vessel that delivers it."
"I am very proud of the members of @unitetheunion for taking a principled position to prevent Russian oil from reaching our ports," she wrote in a tweet early Sunday.
"However, it is unfortunate that they have been placed in this situation by the @GOVUK, which continues to stall on sanctions."
Meanwhile, due to the sanctions, two Russian ships that were scheduled to port in Kent, in southeast England, were turned away this weekend. Staff at the Grain LNG terminal were furious at the prospect of being asked to unload the ships' cargoes.
"Given the horror unfolding in Ukraine, the workers at the National Grid terminal don't want to touch the cargo," Matt Lay, head of energy for the Unison union, which represents workers at the Kent port, said earlier this week.
"These employees are adamant about demonstrating their support for the Ukrainian people and enforcing the sanctions placed on Russia."
After being refused entry into the United Kingdom, one of the ships, the Boris Vilkitsky, arrived in the French town of Montoir-de-Bretagne on Saturday.
Greenpeace stated in a statement that activists challenged the ship at sea on an inflatable, holding a banner that read "Fossil Fuels War" as it approached France.
Dock workers in the Netherlands, where Russian ships are not now prohibited, are also apparently protesting. According to reports, the workers are ready for legal action against oil corporations and shippers.
"There is blood on this oil, blood on this coal, and blood on the gas," Niek Stam, a representative for the Dutch union FNV Havens, told news outlet Source Material. We're working on figuring out how to boycott it without risking a hefty fine in court."
A spokesperson for the British government told that it was mandatory for all ports and harbours must follow legislation prohibiting all Russian ships.
Ministers in the United Kingdom were also looking into ways to "further decrease the already small amount of imports we do get from Russia," according to the report.
"We will continue to press Europe to put strategies in place to reduce its reliance on Russian gas," they continued.