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Turkiye presses US on navigational safety in Turkish Straits

December 10, 2022 at 9:22 am

Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Sedat Onal. [SALVATORE DI NOLFI/AFP/Getty Images]

Turkiye has conveyed to the US that it needs proof of insurance from oil tankers moving through Turkish waters, according to Turkish diplomatic sources, Anadolu News Agency reports.

The issue has crept up following the latest measures taken against Russia by EU and G7 countries.

Starting this week, EU and G7 countries have imposed a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil exports by sea, along with a ban on providing insurance or other services for vessels carrying Russian oil.

A majority of these insurance companies are based in the EU or the UK.

READ: Turkiye: 2022 was year of normalisation with regional countries 

In a phone call with US Deputy Treasury Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, on Wednesday, Deputy Foreign Minister, Sedat Onal, emphasised that tankers looking to pass through the Turkish Straits must submit letters from protection and indemnity (P&I) insurance companies to Turkish authorities, Turkish diplomatic sources said.

Several companies have recently declared that “P&I insurances of tankers carrying Russian oil above price cap will be invalidated,” the sources said.

The Turkish Minister also stressed “the importance of navigation, safety of life, property and the environment in the Istanbul Strait, which passes through a megapolis of 20 million people,” the sources added.

Earlier, a US official said Adeyemo told Onal that “the price cap regime only applies to oil of Russian origin and does not necessitate additional checks on ships passing through Turkish territorial waters.”​​

READ: Deepening Turkiye tanker logjam snarls Russia oil sanctions