NICOSIA – Cyprus has lost 20 percent of its oil tanker tonnage as a result of the European Union’s (EU) sanctions on Russia relating to crude oil, Shipping Deputy Minister Vasilis Demetriades said here on Tuesday.
Demetriades told state-run CyBC radio that since the EU announced its intention to impose a ban on seaborne Russian oil on Oct. 6, tankers of 900,000 gross tonnage, or 20 percent of Cyprus’s tanker tonnage, have been struck off the country’s registry.
This represents about 10 percent of the total ship tonnage under the Cypriot registry, he said.
Two other EU countries with large shipping registries, Greece and Malta, are understood to have suffered even bigger losses.
“We have asked the European Commission to adopt compensatory measures to offset the losses to all shipping countries caused by the punitive measures imposed on Russia in response to its military operations against Ukraine,” he said.
A ban on imports by EU countries on seaborne Russian oil and a cap of 60 U.S. dollars per barrel on the price Russian oil both came into effect on Monday.
Demetriades said that Cyprus is preparing and will submit by the end of January specific proposals for the compensation of countries that suffered shipping losses.
“We are doing our utmost to ensure the sanctions are effective, but also to protect the shipping sector,” he said.
Cyprus’s shipping registry ranks third in the EU and eleventh in the world.
The country is also the largest EU third-party ship management center and is among the top three in the world, with its maritime industry contributing close to 7 percent to its annual economy, estimated at about 26 billion euros (27.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2022.