ARKANSAS, Dec 02 (Future Headlines)- The United States has escalated its sanctions on Russian oil, unveiling additional measures aimed at closing loopholes related to the $60-per-barrel price cap. The move, announced by the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday, involves targeting three entities and three oil tankers accused of exploiting Western maritime services to transport Russian crude oil above the stipulated price cap.

In December of the previous year, the Group of Seven (G7), the European Union, and Australia jointly imposed a $60-per-barrel cap on seaborne exports of Russian crude. The objective was to exert economic pressure on Moscow in response to its military intervention in Ukraine. The mechanism bars Western companies from providing essential services such as transportation, insurance, and financing for oil sold above the specified cap.

The entities and vessels facing the latest round of sanctions are as follows:

Entities:

Sterling Shipping (NS Champion): Based in the United Arab Emirates, Sterling Shipping is identified as the registered owner of the NS Champion.

Streymoy Shipping Limited (Viktor Bakaev): A United Arab Emirates-based entity, Streymoy Shipping Limited is listed as the registered owner of the Viktor Bakaev.

HS Atlantica Ltd (HS Atlantica): HS Atlantica Ltd, registered in Liberia, is identified as the owner of the HS Atlantica.

Vessels: NS Champion; Viktor Bakaev; HS Atlantica

Violation Allegations: Breaching the $60-Per-Barrel Cap

The U.S. Treasury Department has accused the aforementioned entities and vessels of engaging in practices that violate the imposed price cap on Russian oil. Specifically, it alleges that the vessels NS Champion, Viktor Bakaev, and HS Atlantica transported Russian Urals crude at prices exceeding $70 per barrel.

The sanctions exerted by the U.S. government involve blocking all property and interests associated with the listed tankers and their owners. This encompasses assets located in the United States or under the possession of U.S. individuals or entities. Notably, the assets subject to the sanctions must be reported to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets.

As of the time of the announcement, Russia’s embassy in Washington has not responded to requests for comment on the sanctions. In its statement, the U.S. Treasury emphasized that the vessels had utilized “U.S.-person” services during the transportation of Russian-origin oil, without providing detailed information.

The Treasury Deputy Secretary, Wally Adeyemo, asserted that the enforcement of the price cap on Russian oil remains a top priority for the United States and its coalition partners. The statement stressed that targeting the entities and vessels is aligned with the dual goals of restricting Russia’s profits from oil while promoting stable global energy markets.

Concurrently with the sanctions, the Treasury issued a general license authorizing specific safety and environmental transactions related to the targeted entities and vessels. This includes transactions necessary for the safe docking and anchoring of the blocked vessels, and the authorization is valid until February 29.

The latest sanctions action by the United States reflects its ongoing commitment to enforcing punitive measures against Russia, particularly concerning the price cap on oil. By targeting entities and vessels involved in practices that breach the specified cap, the U.S. aims to curb Moscow’s profits from oil while advancing the broader goals of global energy stability. The general license provides a nuanced approach, allowing for limited safety and environmental transactions amid the sanctions, highlighting the intricacies involved in navigating the intersection of geopolitical measures and essential global industries.

Reporting by Moe Khaled; Editing by Sarah White