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EU Considers Sanctioning Russian Shipping Major

The European Union is mulling over sanctions for Sovcomflot, Russia’s shipping giant, in its latest attempt to squeeze government revenues.

Sovcomflot has been central to Russia’s continued crude oil exports after the EU/G7 price cap and sanctions, which makes it a natural target for more sanction action from the West. The company also ships liquefied natural gas, Bloomberg noted in a report on the news that cited an EU document seen by the publication.

Earlier this year, the United States sanctioned Sovcomflot and 14 individual tankers for their participation in Russian crude oil exports amid the G7 price cap regime.

The new sanction package needs to get the approval of all 27 members of the European Union.

The move follows a sanctions update from May when the European Union set its sights on Russian LNG. The plan—the 14th sanction package by the EU—saw three LNG projects added to the blacklist, including Arctic LNG 2, Ust-Luga, and Murmansk, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told S&P Global Commodity Insights in early June, adding that this sanctions package would be “the first one where we cover also partially LNG trade and specifically transshipments”.

The EU’s 14th sanctions package is far from a done deal, however, with all EU member states required to be on board with the deal, and some clear outliers waiting on the sidelines to scupper the package.

While these sanctions are being discussed, the European Union is somewhat paradoxically trying to find a way to keep pipeline gas flowing via Ukraine after the expiry of the current contract, which Kiyv has said it would not renew. The reason: Central European EU members feel they would compromise their energy security if they give up this natural gas. The Ukraine itself is very much in favor of continued gas transit, which earned it some $1 billion back in 2021.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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