The European Commission said it is monitoring the oil spill in Russia that caused 1,300 tonnes of fuel oil to spread into the Kerch Strait between Russia and the Ukraine, according to ShareWatch.

A commission spokesman told reporters here the EU executive is "following the situation closely," adding it is unlikely EU countries would be affected by the spill.

A Russian oil tanker was torn in half yesterday in a severe storm in the Black Sea.

Another two vessels, each carrying 2,000 tonnes of sulphur, sank nearby and eight crew members were reportedly missing amid worsening weather in waters between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The storm has caused five-metre high waves and wind speeds of 108 km per hour and has left several other ships damaged in and around Kavkaz, a busy Russian commercial port 1,200 km south of Moscow.