EU to place sanctions on 19 tankers including LNG

By Elías Thorsson - June 25, 2024
20
FILE PHOTO: Crude oil tanker NS Creation, owned by Russia’s leading tanker group Sovcomflot, transits the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey May 6, 2022. REUTERS/Yoruk Isik/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will add 27 vessels, including oil and liquefied natural gas tankers, to its list of entities under sanctions as part of its latest measures against Russia, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

EU countries adopted the 14th package of sanctions against Russia earlier on Monday. These included a ban on trans-shipments of Russian LNG off EU ports that will take effect after 9-month transition period. The full details will be published later in the EU’s Official Journal.

The latest list, seen by Reuters, includes 19 tankers, including two Russian floating gas storage units (FSU) – the Saam and Koryak – as well as ships run by Russia’s state-owned shipping firm Sovcomflot.

Owned by Russia’s top LNG exporter Novatek, the two ships – already under US sanctions – were meant for trans-shipping LNG from its new Arctic LNG 2 project. Russia has a shortage of ice-class LNG ships and relies on trans-shipments to keep those it has in the Baltic Sea area.

The list also includes ships that have transported defence equipment for Russia as well as the Enisey cargo ship, which the EU says has moved stolen Ukrainian grains.

FILE PHOTO: Russian-flagged bulker Enisey transits the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey, April 24, 2024. REUTERS/Yoruk Isik/File Photo

Moscow has been more adept than western powers expected at circumventing sanctions, including the Group of Seven (G7) nations price cap on Russian oil.

Russian oil exporters are charging more for their oil in major market India than at any time since the war in Ukraine started as a growing number of shippers and intermediaries take part in the trade.

The impact of the listing may not be immediate given the vessels already operate around western restrictions.

However, it is likely to complicate Russia’s ambitions to gain a fifth of the global LNG market share by 2030-2035 from around 8% now.

“If you’re looking for spare parts, engineers, insurance, financing, in some cases local pilots – anything that involves some contact with the EU in the broadest sense, including countries mirroring EU sanctions – this all will become more difficult. For instance, navigation, safety and security equipment,” Nicoleta Tuominen, a partner at Dentons law firm, told Reuters.

“If an EU company developed such a system, others could fix it, but not to the same standard. The EU does not have the extra-territorial reach of US sanctions nor their leverage over certain flag states. Tankers are put on the sanctions list because ownership in that sector is elusive and at least this way, you might see some impact at some point.”

The following is a list of vessels to be added to the EU’s official journal:

VESSEL TYPE NAME, IMO NUMBER

OIL Kemerovo 9312884

Beks Aqua 9277735

Robon 9144782

Galian 2, 9331153

Ocean AMZ 9394935

Vela Rain 9331141

Hebe 9259185

Andromeda Star 9402471

Canis Power 9289520

Hana 9353113

Krasnoyarsk (NS Creation) 9312896

Kaliningrad (NS Captain) 9341067

Krymsk 9270529

SCF Amur 9333436

NS Spirit 9318553

NS Lotus 9339337

NS Stream 9318541

LNG-related Saam FSU 9915090

Koryak FSU 9915105

Audax 9763837

Pugnax 9763849

Hunter Star 9830769

Grains Enisey 9079169

Defence M/V Angara 9179842

M/V Maria 8517839

Lady R, 9161003

Maia-1, 9358010

 

(Reporting by Julia Payne, additional reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo and Paul Carsten in London; Editing by Gareth Jones and Barbara Lewis)