Denmark could turn back Russian oil tankers crossing Öresund

The Local Denmark
The Local Denmark - [email protected]
Denmark could turn back Russian oil tankers crossing Öresund
The Liberian-flagged oil tanker Ice Energy transfers crude oil to another tanker off an island in Greece in 2022. Photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP

Denmark could block and turn back Russian tankers passing through the narrow Öresund strait under an EU plan to better enforce the $60-a-barrel price cap on Russian oil, the Financial Times newspaper has reported.


According to three anonymous sources cited by the newspaper, Denmark could use maritime laws allowing countries to check ships suspected of environmental risks to stop ships which do not carry Western insurance.

About 60 percent of Russian oil exported by sea crosses the Öresund straits, the control of which was historically key to the wealth of Denmark.

The cap on the price of Russian oil, instituted by the G7 countries after the invasion of Ukraine on February 28th, 2022, has been only partially effective with officials admitting to the FT that "almost none" of Russia's exports sell at this price. 

The cap is enforced through the big western ship insurance companies, which only ensure Russian cargos if the oil has been sold below the cap. But more and more Russian tankers are now suspected of using non-western insurance or using doctored papers.  

“The key is enforcing the insurance regulations,” one of the officials at the talks in Brussels told the FT. “It’s being done very patchily at the moment . . . littoral states have the right to see proof.”


From the mid-15th to the mid-17th century, the fortresses of Kronborg and Kärnan, situated on either side of the narrowest point in the Öresund, between the Danish town of Helsingör and the Swedish city of Helsingborg, would bombard any ships which did not pay the so-called "Sound Toll", allowing Denmark to capture a slice of the revenues of Baltic trade. 



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also