The ministers of transport of the European Union countries decided on Friday to ban single-hulled oil tankers from using ports in the EU. The ministers also decided to begin discussions with Russia and with applicant countries for EU memberships on safety standards for oil tankers.
The sinking of the single-hulled oil tanker, the Prestige, off the Spanish coast has led to calls for tighter safety standards for oil transport.
Finland has been especially keen on tightening international standards for oil transport, because Finnish waters are seen as especially vulnerable to oil spills.
At their meeting in Brussels, the EU ministers also called on the European Commission to take action to ban the use of single-hulled oil tankers in EU waters.
Finland's Minister of Transport and Communications, Kimmo Sasi, says that the discussions will not be easy, but added that the issue is important for Finland. He noted that the biggest hazards affecting Finnish territorial waters are from oil transport to and from harbours in Russia and the Baltic Republics.
YLE24, Finnish News Agency