Tankers tied to Russian oil trade grind to halt following US sanctions

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A chunk of the vast fleet of tankers that Russia uses to deliver its crude oil is grinding to a halt under the weight of US sanctions, a sign that tougher measures by western regulators might be starting to have tangible effects on Moscow, Report informs via Bloomberg.

About half of the 50 tankers that the US Treasury began sanctioning on Oct. 10 have failed to load cargoes since they were listed, according to a ship-by-ship tracking of each one by Bloomberg. The latest to be targeted — the Sovcomflot carrier NS Leader — performed an immediate U-turn off the coast of Portugal on Thursday when its owner was named by the US. It was sailing toward a Russian port in the Baltic Sea at the time.

The Group of Seven imposed a $60-a-barrel price cap on crude in December 2022 that was meant to keep Russian oil gushing while at the same time depriving the Kremlin of petrodollars. Caps on refined products were introduced two months later.