U.S. Sanctions Four Shipowners and Hundreds of Suppliers for Russian Ties

Red Box's module carrier Audax, preparing to deliver an LNG plant section to the Russian Arctic (Red Box file image)
Red Box's module carrier Audax, preparing to deliver an LNG plant section to the Russian Arctic (Red Box file image)

Published May 1, 2024 9:22 PM by The Maritime Executive


The U.S. Treasury is cracking down on the supply network for the Russian invasion of Ukraine with a broad package of sanctions on companies that sell or transport military goods - including a long list of Chinese suppliers of explosives and electronics. The Treasury also sanctioned four shipping companies that have done business with Russia's Arctic LNG 2 export plant project.

The new list includes a constellation of logistics firms that offer services tailored for sanctions-busting. The list includes Albait Al Khaleeje General Trading LLC, a UAE-based auto parts company that allegedly organized more than 6,800 cargo shipments to Russian customers, including soldering and welding machines for military electronics production. Six others are based within Russia, like OOO PV Bridzh (PVB), which offers services for "sanctioned goods" deliveries. Some of the companies facilitate both the movement of goods and transfer of funds through third countries, in order to mask the final destination and circumvent sanctions. 

The sanctions also add further pressure on Russia's struggling shipbuilding sector, which has already been hit hard by the departure of Western suppliers of machinery and propulsion systems. The new list adds Information Telecommunication Technologies JSC, a Russian supplier of hardware and software for naval applications; Meridian Research and Production Firm JSC, a developer of combat management systems for the Russian Navy's surface fleet; and Aktsionernoe Obshchestvo Proektno Konstruktorskoe, which designs automated comms systems for warships. 

A sweeping set of sanctions on Chinese electronics, machinery and chemical exporters will also have knock-on effects on the Russian Navy. The Treasury has identified dozens of Chinese companies that send Russia the microelectronic systems it needs to build drones, missiles and other military equipment. The department has also designated two Chinese manufacturers of an important ingredient in explosives and rocket propellants, nitrocellulose.  

The Treasury and Department of State also announced sanctions on four shipping companies that have helped Russian gas firm Novatek build its Arctic LNG 2 expansion project, a massive export plant on the Gulf of Ob. 

The first is a Singaporean company, Red Box, familiar for its purpose-built module carriers. The firm supported the Yamal LNG project and also supplied transport services for Arctic LNG 2, according to the State Department. Two of its vessels, Audax and Pugnax, have been designated. The second, CFU Shipping, is a heavy lift ship operator based in Hong Kong. Two of its ships - Hunter Star and Nan Feng Zhi Xing - have been designated. The third and fourth companies are Russian firms, Eko Shipping Ltd. and Transstroy Limited; their fleets - 12 vessels in total - have also been added to the list.