Dockers Call for Tanker With Russian Cargo to be Banned From Dublin

sti clapham
STI Clapham (file image courtesy Alf van Beem / public domain)

Published Mar 13, 2022 10:13 PM by The Maritime Executive

The government of Ireland has turned down a request by a longshore union to refuse entry to a tanker carrying Russian petroleum. 

In early March, the Monaco-owned tanker STI Clapham took on a cargo at Lukoil's Vykotsk terminal in the Baltic, then got under way for England, according to AIS data provided by Pole Star. On March 9, she moored at a terminal on the Thames, departing again the following day and heading south through the Strait of Dover. 

On Friday, as the Clapham rounded the southern coast of England, Ireland's Services Industrial Professional and Technical Union (SIPTU) called on the Irish government to prevent her from calling at Dublin Port, her next destination. 

“Given the unfolding horror in Ukraine as the invasion by Russia aggressively proceeds, our members and other workers who are expected to unload this vessel are angry and upset at being put in this position," said SIPTU Divisional Organizer Karan O'Loughlin in a statement Friday. "While a range of different sanctions are being rolled out across the EU against Russia, the government needs to speak up on humanitarian grounds and turn this vessel around. It is unconscionable to accept this cargo in the present circumstances."  

Given that Dublin Port is state-owned, O'Loughlin asked for the government to exercise its authority to block the tanker's entrance. However, the Irish government said that it would not do so, and would adhere to current EU sanctions. The European Union still permits the import of Russian oil and gas, and it allows port calls from Russian-linked vessels. 

"We fully understand the concerns of the Siptu members with regard to the cargo of oil due to arrive to Dublin Port over the weekend," said Transport Minister Eamon Ryan in a statement Saturday. "However, the strongest pressure we can put on the Russian government now is to continue to ensure that we maintain a resolute, united European response on already agreed sanctions." 

AIS data shows that STI Clapham berthed at a petroleum terminal in Dublin on Sunday evening.