British dockers refuse to unload tanker of Russian gas in Kent forcing it to dock elsewhere

Dock workers have refused to unload a tanker of Russian gas in Kent as a show of solidarity with Ukraine, a union has said.

The tanker had been due to arrive at a Thames Estuary port in the early hours of Friday morning but was diverted elsewhere following the protest from workers, according to the TUC.

The Boris Vilkitskiy was headed to the Isle of Grain, carrying liquified natural gas destined for Centrica, which owns energy company British Gas.

There is currently a government ban on all Russian-associated ships docking in UK ports in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

But the firm is believed to have used a loophole as the ban does not apply to the origin of cargo.

Dock workers were backed by trade union Unison in refusing to help bring the gas onshore.

Matt Lay, Unison’s national officer for energy, said the government needed to close the loophole as quickly as possible.

He told The Guardian: ‚ÄúThis will come as a relief to the Grain terminal workers but while it looks like the union’s intervention has been successful in seeing these ships turned away, a more fundamental problem remains.

“The government must act immediately to close this loophole and stop Russian goods continuing to arrive in the UK under the cover of another country.”

There is also uncertainly about the fate of Russian-chartered tanker Eduard Toll which is currently docked at Belfast port

(Liam McBurney / PA)

Other UK-bound tankers have also diverted in recent days following the government ban, which came into force on Monday.

The Fedor Litke LNG tanker, which has also been bound for the Isle of Grain port, changed course late on Tuesday.

That followed the diversion of the NS Champion, an oil tanker operated by Russian shipping company Sovcomflot, which sailed towards Denmark instead.

Boris Vilkitskiy and Fedor Litke are both owned by Greek firm Dynagas, but the owners of the cargo are not publicly available knowledge.

The Boris Vilkitskiy is also managed by Russian company Yamal LNG OAO.

Leave a Comment