US announces new sanctions on Russian vessels and shipping companies

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The U.S. Department of State has announced further sanctions targeting Russia’s marine sector to increase pressure on the country following the invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement released on 8 May, the State Department has added seven maritime shipping companies to the Department of the Treasury’s List of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons – including the Russian Ministry of Defence’s shipping company, Oboronlogistika OOO – as well as private Russian maritime shipping companies.

In addition, the State Department has targeted 69 vessels in which the sanctioned companies hold interests.

“[…] Following our recent port ban, we continue to target Russia’s maritime defence logistics capabilities by designating the Ministry of Defence’s shipping company and six other maritime shipping companies that transport weapons and other military equipment for the Government of Russia, while identifying 69 of their vessels as blocked property.”

“Additionally, we are designating Fertoing, a specialised marine engineering company that produces remotely operated subsea equipment, among other activities. Fertoing will now be blocked from accessing critical US technologies.”

The State Department added that this action serves as a warning to private Russian companies supporting the costs of war.

Last month, US President Joe Biden banned all Russian-affiliated vessels from accessing the country’s ports, following similar sanctions imposed by the European Commission.

As the conflict rages on, shipping companies have halted total operations in Russia and Belarus – including the most recent announcement from Maersk.

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