The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published a list of companies which have applied for exemptions to allow them to continue importing oil products from Russia, ahead of a potential full ban from the European Union.
Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) says the name of the companies, their field of activity and the fact of their applying for any such exemption cannot be treated as confidential business, and the publication of the list does not violate the rules of business secrecy.
"I am convinced that the Estonian public has a justified interest in knowing which Estonian companies have requested exemptions for the transition period to continue oil trade business with Russia," he said.
"Estonia has submitted proposals for a new EU sanctions package which would further bar EU energy trade with Russia," he added.
With that in mind, the list of companies who have requested an exemption on oil trade with Russia are: Flexoil OÜ, Marine Energy Solutions OÜ, Baltic Marine Bunker AS, Eurodelta OÜ, Manoir Energy OÜ, Westnbalticoil OÜ, SIA ImplexOil, Alexela Bunkering OÜ, GazTrans Eesti OÜ, Stacroloft Inc, Fillenergi OÜ, Himbalt Trade OÜ, Eesti Aviokütuse Teenuste AS, Aurum Invest OÜ, Venkon Group OÜ, LITASCO SA, VNK AS, TRAFIGURA PTE LTD, AS Liwathon E.O.S, AS Operail, United Stream OÜ, Skinest Veeremi OÜ, AS NT Bunkering, Nord Terminals AS, Baltia Trading Company OÜ, Petrohim International Carriers OÜ, City Sky OÜ and Altairbalt OÜ.
One of the above, Operail, a state-owned company, has continued to lease or sell rolling stock to Russian Federation rail operators, according to a report by investigative weekly Eesti Ekspress.
The EU imposed a part-ban on Russian oil in its sixth round of sanctions announced in early June.
The U.S., less reliant on Russian oil and not at all on its natural gas, imposed an embargo early on in the current phase of the Ukraine conflict.
Alexela: Two of our companies listed have not requested an exemption
Fuel retailer Alexela stated Wednesday that Nord Terminal AS, which had previously operated under the name Alexela Logistics AS, and Alexela Bunkering, under the same parent company ownership, are purely transit companies and do not have any contracted Russian customers (both companies are listed above per the foreign ministry – ed.).
Neither company had asked for exemptions, Alexela added.
The company said: "Neither Nord Terminals nor Bunkering have requested any kind of exemption, but have declared the contracts concluded before the conflict according to requirements, while neither company has made transactions with a Russian party."
This article was updated to include comment from Alexela.
Editor: Andrew Whyte