Malaysia Will Not Allow US-Sanctioned Russian Tanker to Dock at Its Ports

Muzliza Mustafa, Iskandar Zulkarnain and Suganya Lingan
Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia Will Not Allow US-Sanctioned Russian Tanker to Dock at Its Ports Nearly three dozen people, a majority of them Ukrainian, protest against Russia’s invasion of their homeland outside the Russian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Feb.28, 2022.
[S. Mahfuz/BenarNews]

Malaysia will bar a Russian oil tanker on a U.S. blacklist from docking at any of its ports in coming days, the transport ministry announced Tuesday, saying it did not want to breach Washington’s sanctions over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

European Union officials, meanwhile, urged non-aligned Malaysia to back a U.N. General Assembly resolution denouncing the Russian military strike and that is due for a vote soon.

The Russian tanker Linda is named among several Russian assets sanctioned by Washington, in a United States Treasury document dated Feb. 22, 2022. The ship is scheduled to arrive at Malaysia’s Kuala Linggi International Port, on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia on March 7, according to MarineTraffic, a website that uses satellite-based data to track movements of ships worldwide.

“The vessel called the Linda a.k.a. Lady M, cited in media reports published early this week, is allegedly included in sanctions by a foreign country against the Russian Federation,” the Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement.

“MOT wishes to inform that the port operator of the vessel’s destination in Malaysia has made the decision to decline its request to dock at Kuala Linggi International Port (KLIP) in order not to violate any sanctions as it is the operator’s prerogative,” the ministry said.

The Linda is due to arrive at the Kuala Linggi port on Saturday, March 5, the statement said.

The ministry will keep reviewing the situation “for further action as may be required according to current government policies,” the MOT added.


The route of the Russian-flagged oil tanker Linda, which left a port in Oman on Dec. 12 and was more than 200 miles from Banda Aceh, Indonesia as of 12:30 a.m. (Malaysia time) Wednesday, March 2, 2022. []

Meanwhile several European Union (EU) ambassadors in Malaysia are urging similar action from the government during a vote in the U.N. General Assembly, likely on Wednesday, on a resolution condemning Russia for launching its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The French, German and other EU ambassadors said that Malaysia, as a non-aligned country, should back the resolution in its own interest.

“[M]alaysia, like Ukraine, is not a party to any alliance, which means that at the end of the day, the only defense and the ultimate defense of Malaysia lies in the respect of the principles that I just emulated; territorial integrity, sovereignty, political independence, the right to make their own choices,” Roland Galharague, France’s ambassador to Malaysia, said at a press conference.

Additionally, Malaysia had supported a similar resolution when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014, he said.

“Malaysia voted in favor of the resolution…and we think that this time, we’re not talking about Crimea, we’re talking about the whole of the country,” the French envoy said.

“The political independence of Ukraine is being violated and the right of Ukraine to choose its security arrangements is being violated,” he told reporters. 

Also present at the press conference were the Ukrainian and German ambassadors to Malaysia.

In neighboring Thailand, 18 diplomats from Western nations, including Michael Heath, the U.S. Chargé d' Affaires, met with the Thai Senate’s foreign relations committee on Monday to talk about Ukraine.

Don Pramudwinai, Thailand’s foreign minister, said the cabinet discussed the Ukraine situation during its weekly meeting on Tuesday.

“Thailand has to adjust its approach because condemnation by several parties doesn’t help. Thailand has to find a point which makes the situation go in the right direction. We have to brainstorm how to. We have to support dialogue … and it must go on without stalemate,” he said.

“Thailand is lucky to be a friend of all people in the world and we can talk. …We have channels to talk with the EU, Russia, Ukraine and the U.S., but … we have to make it flow naturally, no need to take action.”

But Kobsak Chutikul, a retired Thai envoy and advisor to the Senate’s foreign relations committee, did not flinch in stating that Russia was in the wrong as he urged Thailand to act accordingly.

“Thailand should take principled stand. At stake are not only the security concerns on the European continent, but an assault on the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity that have held together a post-World War II and post-colonial world,” he told BenarNews.

“The world will be a more dangerous place if we do not uphold sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. We cannot go back to a world divided into spheres of influence where there are no constraints on the powerful carving up territory.”

Nontarat Phaicharoen in Bangkok contributed to this report.


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