Sanctioned tankers pose rising environmental risk in Mediterranean, Greece says

File photo. [Vassilis Triandafyllou/Reuters]

Unregulated tankers sidestepping Western sanctions are posing a bigger risk to the Mediterranean region and Greece is undertaking more protective measures to safeguard its coast, the country's shipping minister told Reuters on Tuesday.

Up to 850 oil tankers are estimated to form the so-called shadow fleet transporting oil from countries such as Iran and Venezuela as well as Russia, which has multiple restrictions on its oil exports.

The ships carrying these oil cargoes pose a massive environmental challenge, industry and analyst sources say, since they are hard to track because of their opaque ownership and use of non-Western insurance and other marine services, and they have little incentive to follow cleaner shipping standards.

"I can see some threats about the environment, in particular in areas like the Mediterranean Sea and very close to our mainland and...

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