Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that the UK has become the first country to pass a law banning ships with 'any Russian connection' from entering its ports.
He made the announcement after concern about a Russian oil tanker scheduled to dock in Orkney today (1 March).
Mr Shapps wrote on Twitter, alongside a photograph of himself standing next to Foreign Office minister James Cleverly: “At London’s Foreign Office where we’ve just become the first nation to pass a law involving a total BAN of ALL ships with ANY Russian connection whatsoever from entering British ports.
“Please RT to encourage all countries to do the same in support of the people of #Ukraine.”
At London's Foreign Office where we've just become the first nation to pass a law involving a total BAN of ALL ships with ANY Russian connection whatsoever from entering British ports.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) March 1, 2022
Please RT to encourage all countries to do the same in support of the people of #Ukraine 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/yjI9NRD6E3
Orkney Islands Council announced on Monday night (28 February) that the agent for Russian-owned NS Champion had cancelled the visit to the area.
This came after Mr Shapps wrote to all UK ports urging them to refuse access to Russian boats due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Cabinet minister wrote: “Russia’s assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state.
“The UK Government has been clear there would be massive consequences and a severe cost for any Russian military incursion into Ukraine and, in coordination with our international allies and partners, we are developing an unprecedented package of further sanctions."
Today I've written to all UK ports asking them not to provide access to any Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered or operated vessels.— Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP (@grantshapps) February 28, 2022
Given Putin's action in #Ukraine I've made clear these vessels are NOT welcome here with prohibiting legislation to follow. pic.twitter.com/5pKzfvcbGi
He added: “The maritime sector is fundamental to international trade and we must play our part in restricting Russia’s economic interests and holding the Russian government to account.
“In these circumstances, the Department for Transport does not consider it appropriate for Russian vessels to enter UK ports.”
He also suggested that the UK Government will 'seek to support UK ports in identifying Russian ships' and alert them if prohibited vessels are inbound.
Latest Intelligence update on the situation in Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/1Ynzlps2dY— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) March 1, 2022
Boris Johnson said evidence of Vladimir Putin’s attacks on civilians could be used in a future trial at The Hague.
Speaking in Warsaw, Mr Johnson said: “There’s no doubt that he is already using barbaric tactics, bombing civilian areas.
“I have seen the reports about cluster bombs and thermobaric weapons, they will, of course, have to be verified.
“I think that everybody involved in the Russian onslaught should understand that all this will be collated in evidence to be used at a future time in what could be proceedings before the International Criminal Court.”
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.