Russia’s Sovcomflot considering alternative shipping routes in case of Red Sea escalation

(Reuters) – Russia’s leading tanker group Sovcomflot is considering alternative shipping routes in case of further escalation of the crisis in the Red Sea, the TASS news agency reported on Tuesday.

The United States and Britain launched a series of strikes on Yemen last week aimed at the Iran-backed Houthi militia, whose attacks on international shipping have disrupted one of the world’s most important trade routes since December.

According to British maritime security firm Ambrey, last week the Houthis mistakenly targeted a tanker carrying Russian oil.

Tass quoted Sovcomflot as saying it was still operating in the Red Sea, but could use alternative routes in case of further escalation.

“Due to the escalation of hostilities in the region, it is currently impossible to predict whether the company will continue to operate there on an ongoing basis,” it said.

“The company is closely monitoring the development of the situation [in the Red Sea] and assessing the risks. If necessary, alternative routes are being developed for vessels.”

Sovcomflot did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Russia condemned the United States and Britain for their military strikes on Yemen, which Moscow said amounted to an irresponsible adventure that risked sowing chaos across the entire Middle East.

(Reporting by Maxim Rodionov; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)