U.S imposes sanctions on Russia's leading tanker group, Sovcomflot

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Russia's leading tanker group, Sovcomflot.

Washington seeks to reduce Russia's revenues from oil sales that it uses for its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is a top oil exporter, and the sanctions aim to add costs to shipping its crude oil and oil products while keeping the petroleum flowing to global markets.

Sanctions have forced Russia to sell oil at a steeper discount to the international benchmark Brent crude, limiting Russia's revenue.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control also designated 14 crude oil tanker vessels as property in which Sovcomflot has an interest.

The sanctions freeze any U.S. assets of those targeted and generally bars Americans from dealing with them.

The G7, the EU, and Australia imposed a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil in late 2022.

It bans the use of Western maritime services such as transport, insurance, and financing for shipments of oil priced at or above the cap.

The Western sanctions and the cap have forced some Russian oil sales to rely on a so-called shadow fleet of ageing tankers.

The tankers deliver oil to India and China, much further than its traditional consumers in Europe.

The U.S. has not disclosed the specific violations Sovcomflot was accused of.