UK passes law banning Russian ships from ports, Grant Shapps announces

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George McMillan

By George McMillan

Published: 02/03/2022

- 05:38

Updated: 02/03/2022

- 05:38

The Transport Secretary wrote to all UK ports urging them to refuse access to Russian boats due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The UK has become the first country to pass a law banning ships with “any Russian connection” from entering its ports, according to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

He made the announcement after concern about a Russian oil tanker scheduled to dock in Orkney on Tuesday.

Mr Shapps wrote on Twitter: “At London’s Foreign Office where we’ve just become the first nation to pass a law involving a total BAN of ALL ships with ANY Russian connection whatsoever from entering British ports.

“Please RT to encourage all countries to do the same in support of the people of #Ukraine.”

He posted a photograph of himself standing next to Foreign Office minister James Cleverly.

Orkney Islands Council announced on Monday night that the agent for Russian-owned NS Champion had cancelled the visit to the area.

This came after Mr Shapps wrote to all UK ports urging them to refuse access to Russian boats due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Cabinet minister wrote: “Russia’s assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state.

“The UK Government has been clear there would be massive consequences and a severe cost for any Russian military incursion into Ukraine and, in coordination with our international allies and partners, we are developing an unprecedented package of further sanctions.

“The maritime sector is fundamental to international trade and we must play our part in restricting Russia’s economic interests and holding the Russian government to account.

“In these circumstances, the Department for Transport does not consider it appropriate for Russian vessels to enter UK ports.”

He added the UK Government will “seek to support UK ports in identifying Russian ships” and alert them if prohibited vessels are inbound.

The Foreign Office said the ban includes any vessels owned or operated by anyone connected to Russia and that authorities will also gain new powers to detain Russian vessels.

Mr Shapps said Russian President Putin and his allies “must feel the full consequences of their vicious and illegal invasion of Ukraine”.

He said he was instructing all UK ports to turn away “any vessel that is flagged, registered, owned, or operated by Russia” – a move he said will further isolate Russia and help in “crushing its economic capabilities, starving Putin’s war machine”.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the ban on ships, together with new economic sanctions, “will degrade Russia’s economy and help make sure Putin loses”.

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