EU’s new wave of sanctions target Russia’s Middle East shipping coy

The EU has adopted a new package of sanctions against Russia and its supporters in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The tenth package of sanctions is being adopted as the world marks one year since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and is targeting 121 entities and individuals.

The package contains new listings and trade and financial sanctions, including further export bans worth more than €11 billion, with the aim of depriving the Russian economy of critical revenue streams to finance the war.

The sanctions are targeting, inter alia, a third-country shipping company, suspected of helping Russia circumvent sanctions on oil exports.

The company is Sun Ship Management, a Dubai-based subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned shipping giant Sovcomflot, which manages dozens of oil tankers that ship Russian oil and natural gas across the globe.

Sovcomflot transferred the management of 92 tankers and LNG carriers to the company back in April 2022. The EU said that since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Sun Ship Management has been operating as one of the key companies managing and operating the maritime transport of Russian oil. The services have been described as a substantial source of revenue for the government of the Russian Federation, accounting for 70% of Russia’s energy revenue.

The Russian National Reinsurance Company, which is in charge of reinsuring the country’s ships, including the Sovcomflot’s fleet, is also included in the list. The EU said that the service has enabled Russia to deflect the impact of sanctions on its oil trade.

Atomflot, a Russian company that maintains Russia’s icebreaker fleet has also been included in the sanctions. The reasoning behind the blacklisting has been the role of the icebreaker fleet in enabling the Northern Sea Route to become an alternative route for the shipping of Russia’s hydrocarbons between Europe and Asia and avoiding Western sanctions while providing a revenue stream to the Russian government.

The sanctions also include key decision makers on Russia’s political and institutional level, military leaders and two military commanders of the Wagner group, individuals responsible for the deportation and forced adoption of Ukrainian children, as well as Iranian individuals involved in the elaboration and supply of drones.

Three Russian banks have been added to the list of entities subject to the asset freeze and the prohibition to make funds and economic resources available, namely Alfabank, Rosbank and Tinkoff Bank.