Windward – Russia Regime Risk Insights – February 2023

Windward’s Russia Risk Report is a monthly update on risk at sea, offering an overview of emerging behavioral trends in developing hubs prone to illicit activity in the context of the extended sanctions on Russia.

February’s insights indicate that 46% of all sanctioned cargo vessels are Russian-affiliated, clearly showing the role of the invasion in the cargo/compliance game. It also shows the monthly average of ship-to-ship (STS) operations with the number of vessels from Russia greatly increased in a few hubs.

Russia circumvented the sanctions by using simple tricks involving transshipment of goods at sea or in a port. Russia uses flag or owner changes to hide the ship. It is assisted in this process by shipowners of many countries (including European ones), whose ships are registered under flags of convenience. Many countries that have not joined the sanctions process cooperate with Russia. Many countries and companies took advantage of this moment to do business in the war.

Ship to ship (STS) offshore oil handling has become a common practice. Four flags dominate: Malta, Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands. Tankers loaded with oil use the conditions in the Alboran Sea and the Black Sea to perform transhipment operations.

Ships disable identification systems. Cameroon-flagged oil tanker activity in the South Atlantic has increased from seven incidents in 2021 to 315 incidents in 2022.

Ways of circumventing sanctions are thoroughly described in a report by Windward, a leading analytics company using Maritime AI™. Windward has been listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON:WNWD) since December 2021. He deals with the use of artificial intelligence to observe the maritime business. It is a multifaceted platform for risk management in maritime transactions and commercial relations.

More: Russia (not only) circumvented the sanctions