» Аналітичні матеріали, Новини » What did Putin’s friends’ tanker do next to the “Nord streams”?

What did Putin’s friends’ tanker do next to the “Nord streams”?

In the fall of 2022, an explosion occurred on the “Nord Stream” gas pipelines, which caused a heated discussion among experts and the public. 

The most provocative version of these events was expressed by Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh. In his study, the journalist noted that US Navy divers laid explosive devices under the gas pipelines and such sabotage could only be sanctioned by President Joe Biden.

In turn, this arose a number of accusations from the Russian establishment and leading propagandists of the Russian Federation. For example, Dmitry Peskov called the publication serious and stated that they were surprised that the article did not receive wide publicity. At the same time, Margarita Simonyan noted that the United States ignored the publication because it tends to deny the uncomfortable truth. And President Putin did not ignore this topic, saying that the United States is interested in stopping the supply of Russian energy carriers to the European market.

However, in early March, an article in  Business Insider published a sensational fact that turned everything upside down. Moreover, it even made it possible to identify those involved and guilty. The study says that the Greek tanker Minerva Julie moved the scene for a week on the Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines. At the same time, representatives of the company that owns the said tanker commented on the location of their vessel at the epicentre of common practice.

In general, everything seems quite ordinary, because the company that owns the tanker, Minerva Marine, is not known to the general reader. Instead, it’s known for Ukrainian diplomacy, domestic anti-corruption bodies and volunteers of economic resistance, Minerva Marine is one of the most scandalous names.

The owner of the vessel, which for unknown reasons cruised in the area of the “Nord Streams”, is among the top 5 Greek sea carriers. Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Greek fleet has been transporting at least 35% of oil and oil products from the total volumes exported from the Russian Federation. Precisely because oil is one of the key sources of funding for the Russian war, Ukrainians have declared informational war on carriers, which includes Minerva Marine. 

The opinion on the mentioned company was expressed by Oleksiy Makeyev (at that time special representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine on sanctions policy) by publishing a post on the official Facebook page. The post states that everyone who carries Russian oil is a direct participant in the war crimes committed by Russia on the territory of Ukraine. 

At the same time, the position on Greek companies was outlined by the  National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption and named the top-5 largest Greek carriers that help the Russian Federation, including TMS Tankers Ltd., Minerva Marine, Thenamaris Ships Management Inc., Delta Tankers Ltd., Dynacom Tankers Management Ltd.

It is known that together with these actions, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Agency on Corruption Prevention sent their diplomatic notes to the above-mentioned Greek carriers demanding to stop  the transfer of Russian oil and indicating the possible consequences in the form of potential sanctions.

The result of such actions was the inclusion of the mentioned Greek carriers and their activities in the register of the NACP “International Sponsors of War”.

But, even in this shameful list, Minerva Marine occupies a special place. One of the family members of the owner of the company is Athanasios Martinos, the current governor of St. Mount Athos. At one time, Athanasios hosted high-ranking Russian officials such as Shoigu, Mishustin, Medvedev, etc. Moreover, in August 2022, Alexander Nevzorov expressed a version that, with the assistance of the governor, Alina Kabaeva was missed at Athos (note the admission of women to Athos is prohibited). As a result of this, the chairman of the economic committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Dmytro Natalukha initiated the inclusion of Athanasios Martinos in the sanctions lists. 

Given the foregoing, it seems not surprising that Minerva Marine has virtually no response to calls to stop working with Russia. As, for example, did the Greek company Angelicoussis. Moreover, tankers from the Minerva Marine fleet, in addition to simply cooperating with the aggressor, violate the sanctions regime. At least 20 episodes have been established when tankers from the fleet, including the mentioned company, despite the ban, delivered crude oil to EU countries after  5.12. 

Agree that after the above-mentioned facts, the location of the tanker near the epicentre of the explosion on the “Nord Streams” gets a completely different context. The connection of the owners of Minerva Marine with the Russian top establishment and commitment to Russian interests makes it logical that the presence of the vessel was not at all accidental.

Customarily, we conducted our research and found that the tanker Minerva Julie was not only on the eve of the explosion (26.09.2022) near the gas pipeline but also turned off the ship’s transponder in the period from 22.09.2022 to 23.09.2022. What the crew wanted to hide was to become one of the main mysteries of today.

Of course, the story of the explosion on the Nord Stream gas pipeline is not yet over and the investigation is ongoing. But one thing is already clear: all previous theories about the possible intervention of Ukrainian or American special services in the explosion on the gas pipeline are too dubious. Now, as they say, all the ways lead to Rome, and in this case — to Russia. 

The publication was prepared by the Underdog The Unlawyers News Agency specifically for the “Don’t Fund Russian Army” project.