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Russian-chartered oil tanker pictured leaving Harland & Wolff shipyard

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The Eduard Toll docking in Belfast at the weekend. Credit: Harland & Wolff Twitter

The Eduard Toll docking in Belfast at the weekend. Credit: Harland & Wolff Twitter

The Eduard Toll docking in Belfast at the weekend. Credit: Harland & Wolff Twitter

A huge Russian-chartered oil tanker that was docked at Harland & Wolff’s shipyard for repairs was pictured being towed away on Thursday.

The Eduard Toll was being worked on at the shipyard after it arrived in Belfast before the beginning of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

A massive liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers, the Eduard Toll is the largest vessel to enter the shipyard in recent years. It dwarfs Harland & Wolff's most famous liner, the ill-fated Titanic.

While it was still docked, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps called for all UK ports to deny access to Russian flagged, registered or operated vessels.

Mr Shapps tweeted on Monday: “Given Putin’s action in Ukraine I’ve made clear these vessels are NOT welcome here with prohibiting legislation to follow.”

When contacted on Monday evening, Harland & Wolff said: “We are aware of a request issued by the Department for Transport instructing UK ports not to provide access to any ship which is owned or controlled by any person connected with Russia, flying the Russian flag or registered in Russia.

“Harland & Wolff has a long tradition of working with UK Government and will continue to support the UK Government’s position.”

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The firm was contacted again on Thursday after the Eduard Toll was pictured leaving the shipyard, however is yet to respond.

A spokesperson for the UK Department for Transport spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph it does not comment on specific ships.

Mr Shapps' letter to all UK ports on Monday read: "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 co-ordination with our international allies and partners, we are developing an unprecedented package of further sanctions.

“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 continue to enter UK ports.

“From this point onwards, UK ports are asked not to provide access to any ship which they have reason to believe is: owned, controlled, chartered, or operated by any person connected with Russia owned, controlled, chartered or operated by designated persons flying the Russian flag registered in Russia.

“We will seek to support UK ports in identifying Russian ships within scope of the above and will communicate directly with relevant ports when we identify ships bound for UK ports who fall within scope of the above.

“Further detailed sanctions against Russian shipping are being developed and further details will be shared very shortly.”

One of Europe’s largest heavy engineering facilities with deep-water access is located at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast shipyard, where there are also two of Europe’s largest dry docks.

Harland & Wolff was saved from closure in 2019 when it was acquired by UK-based energy company Infrastrata.


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