Russia's provocation with cargo ship in Black Sea could affect its oil transportation
After the Kremlin's brazen move to intercept a Turkish vessel, the Sukru Okan, Ankara may tighten security measures across the Bosphorus, which could be fatal for Russia
Defense Express writes about it.
In a recent incident on August 13, the Russian Black Sea Fleet attempted to intercept the Turkish ship Sukru Okan, which flies the Palau flag. This incident occurred either within Turkey's territorial waters, according to analysts from the Institute of Black Sea Strategic Studies, or in the waters of a NATO country, as indicated by sources from the Olvia tanker, reported by the Snform Napalm community.
Officially, Ankara has refrained from providing conclusive statements, stating that the incident is currently under investigation.
The Russian activity near Turkey's coast, involving the dispatch of an inspection team from the patrol ship Vasily Bykov via a Ka-29 helicopter to inspect the civilian vessel, raises questions about Moscow's decision-making.
Turkey holds a powerful card in the form of the Bosphorus Strait, which it can use to exert control over maritime traffic. While civil navigation through the strait remains ostensibly free, Turkey has gradually imposed security measures since the mid-1990s. These measures include mandatory insurance, daylight-only passage for larger vessels, specific passage times, and obligatory tugboat escorts for vessels carrying hazardous cargo.
Recent tightening of these regulations was prompted by an incident involving the vessel Vita Spirit, which lost control and crashed into a shoreline house.
Ankara's ability to further tighten security measures in the Bosphorus could seriously impact Russia's oil transportation. It could be mandatory tugboat escort for old tankers and even greater insurance coverage. And for Russia, which has chartered an ancient fleet to transport oil through the Black Sea, this could be fatal.
The Kremlin's earnings from exporting oil products through this route amount to billions of dollars.
Given Turkey's significant leverage in the Black Sea region, it possesses a plausible pretext to respond to the recent incident as a means of safeguarding shipping security.
- On August 13, at about 6:40 a.m. Russia's Black Sea Fleet opened fire in what it describes as "warning shots" to stop and inspect the Sukru Okan cargo ship in the southwestern waters of the Black Sea. The ship was sailing under the flag of Palau and was en route to Ukraine's Izmail port
InformNapalm, an international intelligence group, revealed that Russia's claims of a successful inspection of the Sukru Okan cargo ship in the Black Sea, along with firing warning shots, are untrue