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Ukraine turns to sea-borne diesel imports as tensions rise with Russia

  • Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have flared in recent weeks after years of strain began in 2014 when street protests in Kyiv resulted in the flight of the pro-Moscow president and annexation of Crimea by Russian forces.
  • The data also showed that the Serena M tanker shipped 30,000 tonnes of diesel to the port of Yuzhny from Turkey in the second half of March.
Published April 5, 2021
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MOSCOW: Ukraine has sought to increase sea-borne imports of diesel because of the threat rising tensions between Moscow and Kyiv could disrupt supplies from Russia, traders said on Monday.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have flared in recent weeks after years of strain began in 2014 when street protests in Kyiv resulted in the flight of the pro-Moscow president and annexation of Crimea by Russian forces.

Refinitiv data showed the tanker Professor AzizAliev shipped a diesel cargo of 6,000 tonnes to the Ukrainian port of Reni from the Georgian port of Batumi on Thursday. A cargo of the same size is expected in the port of Odessa from Batumi in the next few days.

The data also showed that the Serena M tanker shipped 30,000 tonnes of diesel to the port of Yuzhny from Turkey in the second half of March.

Swiss-based trader Proton Energy Group SA, exclusive supplier of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas from Russian energy giant Rosneft to Ukraine, said last month it would suspend shipments to Ukrainian buyers from April, industry sources said.

It was expected that trading firm Coral Energy would replace Proton Energy as the offtaker of Rosneft's diesel and LPG for supplies to Ukraine.

Rosneft did not respond to requests for comment.

According to the A-95 consultancy, diesel consumption in Ukraine rose in 2020 to a record-high of 7.39 million tonnes, of which 2.616 million tonnes were Russian supplies. Belarus exported 2.22 million tonnes and 621,000 tonnes were supplied by Lithuania.

Of that, Rosneft shipped around 1.75 million tonnes of diesel last year by the pipelines and railways, traders said.

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