U.S. targets Russian oil tankers in bid to impose price caps amid Ukraine conflict


(MENAFN) Amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the United States has escalated its efforts to enforce a ceiling on crude oil prices imposed by Western nations on Russia. The latest move sees the blacklisting of 14 Russian oil tankers by the Treasury Department, targeting the state-run shipping company Sovcomflot. The sanctions come with a directive requiring the tankers to unload their oil and other cargoes within 45 days before the sanctions take effect, effectively limiting the Kremlin's ability to profit from energy exports.

Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo emphasized the significance of targeting Sovcomflot, highlighting its status as the largest state-owned shipping company and operator of the largest ship fleet in Russia. Describing the action as a "major blow" to Russia's operations, Adeyemo underscored the intention to increase costs for Russia while mitigating associated risks.

The imposition of a price cap aims to curb Russia's profits from energy sales while ensuring stability in global energy markets. This move marks a concerted effort by a coalition comprising the Group of Seven major economies, the European Union, and Australia, which previously agreed to set a ceiling of $60 per barrel for Russian crude. However, the Treasury Ministry noted that Russia has sought to circumvent this cap by investing in a "shadow fleet" of trading infrastructure within the energy market, prompting further measures to curb such practices.

As tensions persist in the region and geopolitical dynamics evolve, the United States remains committed to employing targeted sanctions and diplomatic efforts to exert pressure on Russia. The blacklisting of Russian oil tankers represents the latest step in a broader strategy aimed at addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by the conflict in Ukraine and its wider implications.

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