The attack on the terminal of the largest Russian liquefied gas producer Nowatek on the Baltic Sea was a special operation carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine, media in Kiev reported. Reuters asks what impact this event will have on international energy markets.
– The Ust-Luga oil terminal in the Leningrad Oblast is an important facility for the enemy. Fuel is processed there and is, among other things, supplied to Russian troops. A successful attack on such a terminal causes not only economic losses for the Russians, depriving the occupiers of the opportunity to earn funds to operate it war in Ukrainebut it also significantly complicates the logistics of fuel for the Russian army, said the interlocutor of the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
Terminal operation has been suspended. Employees evacuated.
The gigantic Ust-Luga complex, located on the Gulf of Finland, about 170 km west of St. Petersburg, is used to transport oil and gas products to international markets, Reuters reported. In her opinion, it is unclear how long the disruptions will last, how many tankers will have to stay outside the port and what the knock-on effect will be on international energy markets.
Reuters was unable to confirm whether the fire was caused by a Ukrainian drone attack. If this were to happen, such an attack would demonstrate Kiev’s ability to strike in depth Russia at a time when Kiev is on the defensive on the battlefield and is trying to secure as much Western financing as possible, she emphasized to the agency. She also assessed that such an attack, the latest in a series of strikes targeting Russian energy facilities, would also raise questions about the effectiveness of Russian air defense systems around key infrastructure facilities.
Due to “external factor”
Nowatek said in a statement that the fire broke out as a result of an “external factor”.
“There are no injuries as a result of the fire at the Nowatek terminal in the port of Ust-Luga. The staff has been evacuated,” Aleksandr Drozdenko previously reported on the Telegram channel. Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that the fire had been brought under control.
Russian authorities, including the governor of the Leningrad Oblast, did not reveal what caused the fire in the terminal.
Governor on high alert
According to the Russian Shot channel on Telegram, residents heard the sound of a drone followed by several explosions. The St. Petersburg portal Fontanka wrote that at least two drones were spotted flying towards St. Petersburg.
There were three large foreign tankers near where the fire broke out, but there were no reports of damage to them, Fontanka said.
A state of heightened alert has been introduced in the Kingisepp region, where Ust-Luga is located.
Minister for Strategic Industries Ukraine Oleksandr Kamyshin said this week that a Ukrainian-made drone flew 1,250 kilometers on the night from Wednesday to Thursday and hit a fuel base in St. Petersburg in northwestern Russia.
As the BBC writes, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported that on Saturday evening it shot down three Ukrainian drones in the Smolensk region, near the border with Ukraine. It previously said it shot down drones over Tula and the western Russian city of Oryol.
The RBK-Ukraina portal reported that sources in the Ukrainian military intelligence (HUR) confirmed that on the night from Saturday to Sunday, this special service carried out attacks on military facilities in Tula and the Smolensk Oblast in Russia. He added that the target of the operation were factories producing missile launchers and renovating aircraft
In recent months, the number of drone attacks on military, industrial and technological targets in Russia has increased significantly. Moscow accuses Kiev of these operations. Independent experts emphasize that drone attacks are aimed at objects increasingly distant from Ukraine.
PAP, Reuters, Interfax-Ukraine, BBC