Home » Oil Tankers Intended for Bulgaria are a Legitimate Military Target for the Ukrainian Army
Bulgaria Featured General News Global News News

Oil Tankers Intended for Bulgaria are a Legitimate Military Target for the Ukrainian Army

Black Sea tankers traveling with crude oil for “Lukoil” from Novorossiysk to the “Rosenets” terminal near the Bulgarian city of Burgas are a legitimate military target of the Ukrainian army. This became clear from the words of Volodymyr Zelensky’s economic advisor Oleg Ustenko. In an interview with “Politico” on August 8, Ustenko revealed Kyiv’s decision: “Everything the Russians transport through the Black Sea is an essential military target to us. Ukraine is not kidding as it was shown by the breach in the SIG oil tanker, the photos of which appeared on social networks on Friday.

Ukraine‘s State Service for Sea and River Transport has announced that six Russian ports – including Novorossiysk, Tuapse and Taman – will be part of the “military risk zone” until further notice. Crude oil tankers for Bulgaria also depart from Novorossiysk.

Ukraine is starting to get back at Russia with the same methods the Russians are using against Ukraine. Kyiv attacks all ships carrying Russian oil and oil products in the Black and Azov Seas. The problem is that a big share of cargo turned into targets is destined for the EU market. In turn, this means that sparks could fly between Kyiv and the West at any moment.

This is a kind of pressure on the West: “give us what we need for an effective counteroffensive, then we will not attack Russian oil tankers in the Black Sea” – explains Dr. Daniel Szeligowski, coordinator of the Eastern Europe program at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) in an interview for the Interia portal.

Such a step, according to Dr. Szeligowski, is a direct response to Russia violating the grain agreement by carrying out a series of attacks on Ukrainian grain warehouses and ports. “This story started with Russia blocking the grain corridor, threatening to attack our ships and destroy our ports. Our maritime infrastructure is constantly subject to Russian attacks,” argued the adviser to the Ukrainian head of state.

And Ustenko, according to the Polish expert, is right. First to strike were the Russians, who in mid-July decided to scrap the grain agreement that allowed sea transport of Ukrainian agricultural products to foreign partners. The agreement between Kyiv and Moscow, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowed almost 33 million tons of food to be exported through Ukrainian ports. It was renewed three times, but Russia eventually gave up on it, with the Kremlin arguing that Russia was prevented from exporting its own agricultural produce and grain from Ukraine was not going to the countries most in need.

Ukraine is guided by its own interests, and they do not always coincide with the interests of its Western partners“, believes Dr. Szeligowski.

The goal of the Russians is obvious – to cut off Ukraine from the means of exporting agricultural products and make the war even more difficult. Now the Ukrainians want exactly the same back at Putin and are targeting Russian ships transporting oil and oil products.

Ukraine is reaching for a symmetrical response and hitting one of Russia‘s most important financial sources, i.e. the supply of energy resources. This is understandable,” notes Dr. Daniel Sheligowski. “In any case, this is only the beginning and an increase in this type of Ukrainian activities can be expected. Not only when it comes to transport ships, but also the Russian port infrastructure on the Black Sea.”

Any attack of this kind makes foreign carriers and insurers reconsider whether to continue their cooperation with Russia. After the first attacks, we see that some insurers have already given up this cooperation, so Kyiv’s strategy is paying off,” summarizes Dr. Szeligowski.

However, Ukraine‘s plan may encounter a serious and expected obstacle. This is, after all, the European Union and the attitude of Kyiv’s European partners may change. The reason is trivial: the larger share of Russian energy exports through the Black and Azov Seas goes to the EU market. Kpler, an economic intelligence company, estimates that in July this year alone, of the 59 million barrels of oil that left the port of Novorossiysk – one of the main ports on the Black Sea – as many as 32 million went to EU countries. One part in the direction of Bulgaria‘s “Rosenets”, as shown by the marine traffic tracking portals.

Ukraine, however, may not be moved by the reproaches and interests of the West, because it is guided by its own interest, which does not always coincide with the interests of its Western partners. General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Ukraine, has already stated once that he will not ask anyone whether he can attack targets on Russian territory. Now Ukraine will not ask anyone whether it can attack Russian oil supplies in the Black Sea.

Source : Novinite