The European Union, it seems, will follow the path that Britain has taken, as it considers closing European ports to Russian ships.

In this context, the relevant ministries of the EU member states have held a series of teleconferences over the last two hours, but have not yet taken any final decisions.

A major source of concern is the application of a universal ban on ships, since in shipping, unlike in air transport, it is not easy to connect a ship to a country, except for ships flying the flag of that country.

There is also concern about whether a universal ban would also apply to ship cargoes. In such a case, a ship carrying Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, coal, grain, etc. will not be able to call at a European port.

Already, one LNG carrier, theFedor Litke, with a capacity of 172,600 cubic metres, is due to arrive at the Isle of Grain terminal in the south-east of the UK on 6 March.

The ship in question is owned by the Greek-owned shipping company Dynagas, flies the Cypriot flag and carries Russian LNG on behalf of the UK, which since yesterday has been urging British ports to ban calls to Russian ships. The ship loaded at the Yamal LNG terminal, which is controlled by Russian gas company Novatek, on 27 February.

Other cargoes from Yamal LNG are also scheduled to arrive at European terminals in France, Spain and Belgium. However, what is being considered is to ban a ship belonging to a company that is on a “blacklist, or the shipper (owner of the cargo) is a company on the list of banned Russian companies, or the cargo comes from areas annexed by the Russians (Crimea, Dubascus or Lugansk).