The Greeks are not only considered creative when it comes to outsmarting their own state. Even when it comes to EU sanctions against Russian oil, they obviously don’t care: the circumvention of the sanctions has now been announced to a French medium.
The European sanctions against Russian oil will only lead to higher prices, they will hit the end consumer, says Nicolas A. Vernicos, the largest Greek shipowner and president of the International Chamber of Commerce. He spoke in connection with the European Union’s decision to introduce a price cap for Russian oil. This has been $60 a barrel since December 5th. Also, there was before reports about itthat it is Greek shipping companies that are helping the Russians to sell the oil.
The French Newspaper”Liberation” published an interview with Vernicos under the title “Russian oil: Greek shipowners, in whose hands half of the world’s tankers are in their hands, do not bother about the boycott”. Vernicos says in it: “Transportation costs, which are already skyrocketing, will increase even faster, but the embargo on transporting Russian oil by sea will have a positive impact on shipowners because we get richer.” For everyone else, however, the embargo is no cause for celebration: the European decision on the sanctions will only bring a net benefit to shipping companies, he explained.
While Vernicos indicated that Greece plans to comply with the new conditions, an anonymous shipping company disagrees. He reminds the medium: “The Greek shipping community is the strongest in the world… Nothing works without it and Greeks will certainly find a way around the sanctions.” And because prices will rise, Russia will also reap profits, he said.
The newspaper writes that the Greeks control 21 percent of the world’s shipping tonnage and 40 percent of the world’s oil transport tonnage. The publication also notes that Greek trade cooperation with Russia has existed since the 19th century and that there are no plans to end it. Various EU sanctions will not change that.