Britain and the US sanction other elements of Russian shipping

Western leaders at the start of their three-day G7 summit in Japan announced a sweeping new wave of sanctions against Russia, which they say will further weaken Russia’s economy and limit its ability to fund and wage the war in Ukraine would. While much of the shipping infrastructure has been under sanctions for more than a year, new elements will be included in the next wave of sanctions, also boosting efforts in energy, metals, defense, transport, finance and other sectors. The United States is expanding its efforts into services ranging from architecture to engineering to construction and manufacturing.

“Our combined efforts have deprived Russia of critical resources it needs to equip its military and is severely curtailing the revenue the Kremlin receives to fund its war machine,” said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, detailing the US share of the new Initiative. “Today’s actions will further intensify pressure on Putin’s ability to carry out his barbaric invasion and advance our global efforts to thwart Russian attempts to evade sanctions.”

The US announced the most far-reaching action, listing over 300 individual items targeting 22 individuals and 104 organizations, reaching not only deep into Russia but over 20 countries altogether. Sectors targeted by the US include future energy, military procurement and the elements to circumvent existing sanctions, metals and mining, technology and a range of individuals. The State Department has expelled or blocked the property of nearly 200 people, entities, ships and planes.

The specific sanctions against shipping and shipbuilding include FSUE Atomflot, a subsidiary of Rosatom that operates a fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers. The effort is also targeting the development of the arctic port of Indiga and Akvamarin Limited, the port’s developer. Four companies involved in the planning of the port were also added to the intended list, while shipbuilding added Samusskiy Sudostroitelno Sudoremontniy Zavod, a Russia-based shipbuilding and repair company that has built up to ten ships handling the logistics and to facilitate cargo delivery in Russia’s arctic region.

The US is also targeting efforts between Russia and Iran to expand the logistics network. Khazar Sea Shipping Lines, an Iranian shipping company and subsidiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Shipping Lines, was designated by the US and cited over 60 port calls in Russia last year. Two other companies linked to shipping trade with Iran have also been named.

Similarly, the UK government announced sanctions against 86 individuals and entities targeting sectors such as energy, metals, military, finance and banking, and other elements in the transport sector. Both the US and UK specifically cited examples of the theft and shipment of Ukrainian grain in their new sanctions. The UK cites examples of the target companies who have reportedly stolen and shipped grain and other agricultural goods from warehouses and fields in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, labeling them as Russian goods.

The US includes SSK Port as an operator in the shipping sector and at the same time extends the sanctions to a general cargo ship sailing under the Syrian flag Pawell (3,000 dwt), which they are accused of, regularly resorts to maritime evasion techniques, including disabling the ship’s onboard Automatic Identification System (AIS) to hide its location and the origin of its cargo. The US also cites the Russian management company that runs the company Pawell, while the UK also listed the ship and its shipping company. They found that the Pawella 39-year-old ship currently transporting stolen grain has been detained six times since 2020 over a series of international security management failings.

Other elements of the comprehensive action also include combating illegal shipments, the dark fleet and other sanctions-lifting measures. The UK included six shipping companies and managers, including those directly linked to Sovcomflot, which itself has been under the sanctions for more than a year. Fesco and Volga Shipping are also among the shipping companies targeted for their links to grain theft and efforts to evade existing sanctions.

The UK said it was not done expanding efforts. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced during the G7 conference that Britain would introduce new import bans on Russian diamonds and metals.

On the impact of the sanctions, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the effort would go beyond ending the war. He confirmed that the UK intends to immobilize Russia’s assets until Russia agrees to pay for the damage it has caused in Ukraine.

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