Carmichael tells PM – ‘We have the power’ to deny Russian tankers access

Alistair Carmichael has urged Boris Johnson to act “without delay” in denying Russian-owned vessels access to UK ports after the invasion of Ukraine.

The Orkney and Shetland MP wrote to the prime minister today (Saturday) after the Challenger, owned by Russia’s largest shipping company Sovcomflot, departed Sullom Voe Terminal.

Mr Johnnson agreed on Thursday he would “immediately investigate” what was happening with the Russian tanker.

But with a second Somcomflot vessel, Champion, due to arrive at Flotta in Orkney on Tuesday, Mr Carmichael has pressed for urgent action.

In his letter, Mr Carmichael said his constituents were pleased to hear Mr Johnson’s comments about the tanker. He said measures passed last week meant the government could now target any entity linked to the Russian state.

”We have that power,” he wrote

“It is imperative, therefore, that you should act without delay to ensure that Sovcomflot is sanctioned and denied access for their vessels to British ports. “

Mr Carmichael highlighted the Northern Isles’ key role in fighting Nazis in the Second World War, including the sinking of the the Royal Oak in Scapa Flow, with the loss of 835 men and boys.

He warned that allowing open access to Sovcomflot would “dishonour the memory of the sacrifice that the crew of the Royal Oak made in their fight against fascism”.


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