The Gaselys—a tanker filled with liquified natural gas from Russia—arrived in Boston Harbor at the end of January. The contents of this shipment are earmarked to power homes in Boston and the surrounding area, but the shipment itself raises questions as to whether the Gaselys is violating sanctions on Russia. The timing of the shipment is suspect to many pundits because the Trump administration recently placed sanctions on Russian energy companies. These economic sanctions were placed on Russian businesses and people as a statement against Vladimir Putin’s 2014 invasion of the Ukraine.
The Gaselys’ arrival at Boston Harbor technically does not violate the sanctions because it is a French-owned vessel, belonging to a French energy trader. The shipment also contains fuel from various European nations, in addition to the Russian fuel. However, the shipment comes at a time when President Trump is under fire for possibly allowing Russian hackers to meddle in United States elections, as well as his possibly friendly relationship with Putin. Energy traders and political pundits alike question the circuitous route the tanker took to Boston, some questioning how effective the sanctions truly are.