The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions against four companies and one tanker under its Russia oil price cap regulation as it seeks to deprive Russian President Vladimir Putin of an important revenue source amid his war in Ukraine. Photo by Alexander Zemlianichenko/EFE
Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The United States has blacklisted four entities and one tanker on accusations of violating a price cap placed on Moscow oil over the Kremlin's war in Ukraine, while also imposing restrictions on the importation of certain categories of diamonds mined in Russia.
The punitive measures were announced Thursday by the U.S. Treasury, which named United Arab Emirates-based companies Oil Tankers SCF Mgmt, Talassa Shipping and Zeenit Supply and Trading as well as Liberia-registered NS Leader Shipping for sanctions.
NS Leader, a Gabon-flagged tanker owned by NS Leader Shipping, was also identified by the Treasury as blocked property.
"Today's action against vessels violating the price cap on Russian oil should serve as a continued warning that we can and will enforce violations of the cap," Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.
The United States is a member of the Price Cap Coalition of democratic countries that is committed to restricting the revenue Russia earns from its crude oil and petroleum products by placing it under a price cap of $60 a barrel. The measure, which aims to punish Russia while maintaining global oil supplies, was imposed in December 2022.
The Treasury on Thursday accused Zeenit Supply and Trading of having sold Russian crude oil in November at a price of more than $80 a barrel. The product was then delivered with the use of NS Leader.
Talassa Shipping is accused of being involved in shipping multiple cargos of Russia-origin crude oil using ships loaded at Russian ports last year.
NS Leader Shipping was hit with sanctions for being the registered owner of NS Leader, which made five port calls in Russia last year. And Oil Tankers SCF, which is owned by the Russian government via state-owned shipping company Sovcomflot, was blacklisted for managing the vessel since September, including during its illegal November voyage.
Treasury officials said that from April 2022 until it was taken over by Oil Tankers SCF, NS Leader was managed by SUN Ship Management, which is under U.S., British and EU sanctions.
The Treasury on Thursday also announced two determinations that prohibit the importation of non-industrial diamonds mined in Russia, effective March 1, with additional categories added Sept. 1, as well as prohibitions on Russia-origin diamond jewelry and unsorted diamonds.
Nelson said the determinations will aid the United States in meeting commitments made by the Group fo Seven nations in December to reduce Russian revenue from the Diamond industry.
The sanctions imposed Thursday are the second price cap enforcement the United States has taken this year after it blacklisted UAE-based shipping company Hennesea Holdings in mid-January.