The United States Government has announced sanctions for violating the oil price limit imposed on Russia by Western countries. The measures also include prohibiting the import of Russian diamonds to prevent “evasion that helps Russia to finance their illegal war against Ukraine.”
Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson stated, “Today’s action against vessels violating the Russian oil price cap should serve as a continued warning that we can and will enforce violations. Additionally, determinations by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) help meet commitments made by G7 leaders in December to reduce Russian revenue from the diamond trade.”
The Treasury has specified that the company Zeenit, based in the United Arab Emirates, sold Russian crude oil at a price of more than $80 per barrel. The Talassa company, also based in the UAE, has been involved in the joint shipment of multiple shipments of crude oil of Russian origin. Both companies share a commercial manager. The third company sanctioned is NS Leader Shipping, based in Liberia and owner of the ship ‘NS Leader’, whose ultimate owner is the Russian Government. The fourth is Oil Tankers, based in the UAE, which has managed ‘NS Leader’ since September 2023, shortly before this vessel transported the Russian oil sold by Zeenit above the cap. Before September 2023, the ‘NS Leader’ was managed by SUN Ship, a company sanctioned by the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom. Oil Tankers manages Russian-owned tankers through Sovcomflot, a Russian state shipping company subject to sanctions. In addition, it manages vessels sanctioned by the United States that have been involved in the export of Russian oil at a price higher than the marked one.
On the other hand, OFAC issued two measures this Thursday that prohibit the import of certain categories of diamonds extracted from Russia. One of them prohibits the import of non-industrial diamonds extracted or mined in Russia, regardless of whether they have been substantially processed in a third country. Secondly, it has banned the import of diamond jewelry and ungraded diamonds originating in the Russian Federation or exported from the Russian Federation. The Treasury notes that these bans aim to implement the G7 commitments of December 2023 to impose gradual restrictions on the import of diamonds mined from Russia.
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