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Greek shipowners committed to implementing US sanctions

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The Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) remains committed to implementing US sanctions and urges members to refrain from conducting any business with Venezuela until there is a change in that country’s regime.

In the wake of a decision by the US Treasury earlier this month to impose sanctions on four tankers managed by leading Greek owners, UGS president, Theodore Veniamis, has confirmed Greek shipping's commitment to implementing the US order to ban trade and economic transactions with Venezuela and other countries.

In a UGS statement following a meeting at the US embassy in Athens between US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey R Pyatt, and Veniamis, the UGS said its president "unequivocally stated the UGS, in the context of its institutional role, constantly informs its members about the imposition of restrictive measures / sanctions both from the US as well as from the United Nations against specific countries and invites its members to demonstrate due diligence in implementing all relevant guidelines".

The UGS said the two sides reiterated the long-standing, close relationship between Greece and the United States of America in the maritime sector, where Greek shipping constitutes a strategic partner for the transport of US imports and exports and offers reliable and high-level shipping services.

They also reconfirmed their mutual desire for the maintenance and the enhancement of this relationship.

It said Pyatt stressed the United States is determined to strictly implement the US government¹s measures with regards to Venezuela and expressed his confidence the cases involving ships of Greek interests will have a positive outcome, especially after the recent statements of the affected companies that they will cease any commercial activity with Venezuela Three of the four Greek companies that saw the US impose Venezuela-related sanctions on their ships have already said they will not touch the trade without express authorisation by the US, or unless there is regime change in the Latin American country.

The Moundreas-family controlled NGM Energy, whose 300,000dwt Voyager I, built 2003, was one of a quartet sanctioned, has been reported in the media as saying: "In the light of the escalation of US trade sanctions against entities engaged in trade with Venezuela¹s energy sector, NGM has implemented a strict policy against servicing vessels intending to call at Venezuela or to load cargo of Venezuelan origin in the future"² It has already diverted one VLCC.

George Procopiou¹s Dynacom Tankers Management and Dinos Martinos' Thenamaris Ships Management have made similar statements.

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