Tanker Sunny Liger heading for Gibraltar with Russian oil though Chief Minister says rules do not permit its entry or services to it

A controversial tanker carrying Russian oil is heading for Gibraltar, though the Chief Minister has said: “Our rules already prevent this vessel entering BGTW (British Gibraltar Territorial Waters), receiving any port services or off-loading any Russian cargo”.

The Sunny Liger had spent some time in Dutch waters but was seemingly unable to unload its cargo. The Ukrainian embassy in the Netherlands called on the Dutch government to demand its "immediate departure".

Although oil and gas exports are vital to Russia’s economy and are considered crucial to its financing of the war in Ukraine, the trade of these fossil fuels is generally not covered by the European Union’s sanctions against Russia.

According to Dutch media reports, the Sunny Liger - a 42,000-tonne tanker - had hoped to unload its diesel cargo at Amsterdam’s port but employees there refused to do so, with trade union backing. Previously, Swedish port workers had also refused to assist the vessel, which is sailing under the flag of the Marshall Islands.

Other ships carrying Russian oil have managed to offload in European ports in recent weeks, due to the lack of relevant sanctions.

Ship tracking website MarineTraffic showed the Sunny Liger’s reported destination to be Gibraltar, where it was expected to arrive on Wednesday evening. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo responded to the GBC news item on Twitter to make clear the vessel would not be welcome in GIbraltar waters.