UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says Russian ships will be banned from UK ports


“Given Putin’s action in Ukraine, I have made it clear that these ships are NOT welcome here with no tracking legislation,” he said.

The move follows Shapps’ announcement last week that Britain was banning Russian private jets from its airspace. Critics, however, said the loopholes meant jets registered elsewhere and operated by intermediary companies were exempt from the rules.

This latest announcement doesn’t seem to allow for those shortcomings.

Shapps urged UK ports to deny access to boats believed to be registered, owned, controlled, chartered or operated by “anyone connected with Russia”.

Shapps’ letter comes as a Russian-owned ship was due to dock in Orkney, Scotland on Tuesday. It was unclear whether the tanker, NS Champion, would dock as planned. It is owned by the shipping company Sovcomflot, which is majority-owned by the Russian state.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, responded to the announcement, Tweeter“Good. I had a constructive conversation with Grant Shapps the same evening in light of the planned docking of a Russian vessel in Orkney, and I welcome this step as longer-term legislation enters in force.

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

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

He said officials would help British ports identify Russian ships and give them advance notice when they arrive in port.

Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also announced new penalties Monday, including a full freeze on the assets of three other Russian banks.

It has also targeted Russian oligarchs who have moved to London – or Londongrad, as it is sometimes called – as a good place to launder money with its lack of regulation and oversight.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new measures, including a “kleptocracy cell” in a law enforcement agency. Analysts doubt such measures will have much impact against deep-pocketed oligarchs.

But Truss said the government would “continue to work on our blacklist of oligarchs, focusing on their homes, their yachts and all aspects of their lives.”

She told parliament Britain was ‘ready to make economic sacrifices’ to support Ukraine and would keep sanctions in place ‘as long as it takes’.

Truss was singled out earlier today by the Kremlin, which linked Russia’s decision to place its nuclear forces on high alert to Truss’ comments over the weekend about supporting human rights. British citizens to travel to Ukraine to fight.

Downing Street distanced itself from Truss’ comments, saying Britons who wanted to help could consider donating money instead.


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