An oil tanker that originally left the Russian port of Taman is scheduled to arrive in Malta on Friday, according to various marine traffic-spotting websites.

Times of Malta has not yet confirmed whether the tanker, flying an Italian flag, is transporting Russian oil, dubbed "blood oil" by anti-war activists.

However, Black Sea News, a site supported by the EU NGO European Endowment for Democracy, is claiming the San Felix is one of nine tankers transporting a total of 400,000 tons of Russian oil.

This tonnage of oil costs about $280 million, equivalent to the cost of about 40 Russian Kalibr cruise missiles, it claimed. 

Two other tankers that originally left from Russia, one headed to Italy, and the other one to Greece, also fly the Maltese flag. 

Black Sea News is run from Crimea.

A government spokesperson said Malta was not aware of any scheduled stops here.

"The authorities are gathering information on this vessel. Although there are no scheduled visits of this vessel to Malta, its situation is being monitored.

"The government reiterates that all sanctions agreed at EU level are being implemented by Maltese authorities," he told Times of Malta.

There are currently no EU sanctions on the transportation of oil.

According to the Marine Traffic site, which provides real-time information on the movements of ships, the tanker, which left Russia on February 16, is currently located in the Aegean Sea.

Over the past few days, there have been several calls to restrict trade in Russian oil.

Oleg Ustenko, an economic adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, has even made a plea to the US White House to restrict all trade in Russian oil by American companies.

In an opinion piece on the UK's The Guardian, Ustenko claimed political leaders in Germany, Italy, the UK, and some other countries are afraid to impose an immediate embargo.

Last week, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said cutting off Russian oil and gas supply would be unsustainable for EU member states. 

But at the beginning of the month, dockers in Kent, England, managed to divert a ship after they refused to unload a tanker carrying Russian gas.

 

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