EU proposes to sanction Russian shipping giant Sovcomflot, Bloomberg News reports

Gabon-flagged crude oil tanker NS Captain, owned by Russia's leading tanker group Sovcomflot, transits the Bosphorus

(Reuters) - The European Union is proposing to sanction Russia's oil-shipping giant Sovcomflot PJSC in a move to limit the Kremlin's ability to finance its war against Ukraine, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing a document seen by it.

The move would follow similar punitive measures imposed on the leading Russian tanker group early in 2024 by the U.S., with Washington pushing to tighten the screws on Moscow for its war in Ukraine that Russia started in 2022.

In a rare admission from a major Russian business of the damage western restrictions against Moscow are having, the head of Sovcomflot said last week that the U.S. sanctions may impact this year's revenues and have limited the firm's activity.

The company has not immediately responded to Reuters' request for comment on the possibility of EU sanctions.

The European Commission declined to comment on the Bloomberg report saying that the Council never comments on possible listings before the decision is finalised.

Sovcomflot, which was previously one of the world's leading tanker operators, transported 75 million metric tons of oil in 2023, mainly to the markets of China, India and the Mediterranean.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru and Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Editing by David Gregorio and Louise Heavens)