Russia News

22 Oct 2020

Overwatch: Advancing NATO’s Maritime Situational Awareness via Commercially Available Space-based Assets

© Pakpoom/AdobeStock

“All the business of war, and indeed all the business of life, is to endeavour to find out what you don’t know by what you do”Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of WellingtonIt is hard to get past headlines painting the portrait of a world besieged physically and economically by a medical crisis on a global scale and a nation that has turned the national spotlight onto the fundamentals of its constitutional democracy, including the persistence of racism, the right to protest and the character of local and national security forces in the United States.

20 Oct 2020

As the Arctic's Attractions Mount, Greenland is a Security Black Hole

File photo: Chinese research vessel Xue Long (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

On a windy August afternoon in 2017, Akitsinnguaq Ina Olsen was relaxing in the old harbor of Nuuk, Greenland's capital, when a Chinese icebreaker sailed unannounced into the Arctic island's territorial waters."I saw it by chance," Olsen, 50, told Reuters. "My first thought was: 'They're already here!' They're pretty cheeky, those Chinese."She pulled out her phone and took a picture of the 167-meter long Chinese icebreaker Xue Long (Snow Dragon), before it turned around and disappeared.The…

20 Oct 2020

Vittoria Shipyard Launches Yacht Division

“Vittoria Yachts represents a new and important milestone for our company,” said Paolo Duò, President of the Vittoria Shipyard. Photo: Vittoria Yachts

The first design project is the 50-m Explorer yacht, designed by Hydro TecThe Duò family, with their hundred years of experience in military, paramilitary and civil shipbuilding, has ventured into the luxury boat sector. The Vittoria Shipyard has launched Vittoria Yachts, the new division, dedicated to designing and building yachts, able to draw on the production capacity and know-how developed over almost a century of business experience, adding over 870 units to the new market segment of luxury yachting.Leading Vittoria Yachts on their journey are Paolo Duò…

15 Oct 2020

Comprehensive Sanctions: Iran, Syria and North Korea

© komi$ar / Adobe Stock

This article will focus on “comprehensive sanctions,” which prohibit most trade between the U.S. and the target country, with a particular focus on three countries currently targeted by comprehensive sanctions: Iran, Syria and North Korea. Similar jurisdictions which are subject to varying levels of comprehensive sanctions, including Cuba, the Crimea region (Russia/Ukraine) and Venezuela (which may be thought of as subject to “quasi-comprehensive” sanctions) will be dealt with an article later in this series.IranHistory of Iran sanctions: The first U.S.

15 Oct 2020

Seismic Surveys in East Med: 'Ankara Toying with Brussels'

Image for illustration; Oruc Reis seismic vessel - Photo by Huseyin Altay YONTAN/MarineTraffic.com

The European Union's latest strategy to defuse tensions with Turkey is unraveling, two weeks after it was sealed, raising the risk of conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean, diplomats, officials and experts said.Despite an EU summit deal in the early hours of Oct. 2 aimed at persuading Ankara to stop exploring for natural gas in waters disputed by Greece and Cyprus, Turkey said on Wednesday it was restarting operations of a survey ship.Turkey had withdrawn the vessel last month, just before the EU summit, at which economic sanctions were discussed, only to redeploy it on Monday.

14 Oct 2020

China Has Reportedly Banned Australian Coal Imports

© William / Adobe Stock

Australia is investigating media reports that China has stopped taking its coal shipments, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, adding that such import quotas to support China's market were "not uncommon".Trade industry reports late last week suggested that some Chinese ports had been told not to accept Australian thermal and metallurgical coal, and that Australian shipments were being sold along to other markets at the last minute.China's imports of coal had been expected to slow in the second half…

13 Oct 2020

US Sanctions 101

© Andrea Izzotti / Adobe Stock

This article will focus on U.S. sanctions generally, including the definition of “U.S. persons,” the application of the facilitation rules, the difference between primary and secondary sanctions, the 50% rule and various maritime advisories. The article will conclude with a few frequently asked questions."Traditionally, U.S. sanctions applied only to “U.S. persons,” which generally means a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; an entity organized in the U.S. (including foreign branches); and anyone in the US."U.S. sanctions overviewTraditional U.S.

13 Oct 2020

Lebanon and Israel in Talks Over Maritime Border

Israel and Lebanon Flags - Credit;Oleksii

Lebanon and Israel, formally still at war after decades of conflict, launch talks on Wednesday to address a long-running dispute over their maritime border running through potentially gas-rich Mediterranean waters.The U.S.-mediated talks follow three years of intense diplomacy by Washington and were announced less than a month after the United States stepped up pressure on political allies of the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah.They also come after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain agreed to establish full relations with Israel…

08 Oct 2020

Yanmar Expands in Denmark

Yanmar Europe BV said it has signed an agreement with the Danish independent service provider VMS Group A/S as a new service agent for commercial marine engines and spare parts. As of today, VMS Group is a registered agent to service Yanmar medium and high commercial marine engines.Kim Rasmussen, CCO of VMS Group, sees great opportunities and good potential in the wide range of marine engines that Yanmar offers. “Due to our many years of experience in the marine business we know Yanmar as a manufacturer of efficient, strong and reliable engines. This is also what ship owners tell us as feedback on Yanmar engines. Furthermore, we find that the innovative technology behind the Yanmar engines plays an important role in the future…

07 Oct 2020

Sovcomflot Shares Drop Below IPO Price Tag in Moscow Debut

(Photo: Sovcomflot)

Sovcomflot's shares fell below their offer price in their market debut in Moscow on Wednesday after the initial public offering (IPO) of Russia's biggest shipping company was priced at the lower end of its range.Sovcomflot's IPO, the first share offering by a Russian state company since 2013, will allow the government to reduce its stake to 82.8% following the sale of new shares worth about $550 million.The deal was priced at 105 roubles ($1.34) per share, at the lower end of the initial guidance of between 105 roubles and 117 roubles per share…

06 Oct 2020

Sovcomflot IPO Expected to Price at Low End of Range

(Photo: Sovcomflot)

Russian shipping company Sovcomflot is guiding investors to expect its initial public offering (IPO) to price at the low end of the marketing range, two bookrunners organizing the transaction said on Tuesday.The first big stock market float by a Russian company in a couple of years comes as wider investor sentiment towards Moscow has turned negative after the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, protests in Belarus and renewed clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh.Russian assets…

01 Oct 2020

Lebanon Asks Interpol to Arrest Ship Captain, Owner Over Beirut Port Blast

© Ali / Adobe Stock

Lebanon has asked Interpol to issue arrest warrants for the Russian captain and owner of the ship that brought the explosive material that detonated at Beirut port in August, killing nearly 200 people, state media reported on Thursday.About two months after the explosion that injured thousands and ravaged the Lebanese capital, questions remain about why and how the cargo was abandoned in Beirut.Authorities have blamed it on the huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate, used for fertilizer but also for explosives…

01 Oct 2020

Polish Divers Hope Nazi Shipwreck Holds Key to Amber Room Treasure

German cruiser Karlsruhe (Photo: German Federal Archive)

Polish divers say they have found the wreck of a German World War Two ship which may help solve a decades-old mystery - the whereabouts of the Amber Room, an ornate chamber from a tsarist palace in Russia that was looted by the Nazis.Decorated with amber and gold, the Amber Room was part of the Catherine Palace near St Petersburg, but was last seen in Koenigsberg, then a Baltic port city in Germany but now the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.It was from Koenigsberg that the Karlsruhe steamer set sail in 1945 with a heavy cargo…

28 Sep 2020

Sovcomflot to Sell up to 17% Stake in Moscow IPO

(Photo: Sovcomflot)

Russia's top shipping company Sovcomflot plans to sell a 15.5%-17% stake in new shares and raise around 42.25 billion roubles ($534 million) in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Moscow Exchange, the company and analysts said on Monday.Sovcomflot's IPO comes at a difficult time for the Russian currency as rising coronavirus cases worldwide threaten an oil price recovery and reduce risk appetite among investors.The rouble was trading close to a 6-month low against the U.S.

24 Sep 2020

Schottel Thrusters for Russia-bound Ice-Breaking W2W Vessel

Credit;: Schottel

Dutch shipbuilder Royal Niestern Sander has ordered Schottel thrusters for what has been described as the world's first shallow-draught ice-breaking walk-to-work vessel, targeted for operation at the Russian Far East.Under the order from a joint venture between the Russian companies Mercury Sakhalin and Pola, Royal Niestern Sander is constructing the 75.9-meter-long, 14-meter-wide vessel that will serve the offshore oil and gas installations near the Sakhalin Island, Russia.After ordering an ice-strengthened gangway for the vessel form Ampelmann in June…

23 Sep 2020

Sweden Protests Russian Breach of Its Waters

© JGade / Adobe Stock

Sweden has protested to Russia after two warships entered its territorial waters without permission, a defense department spokesman said on Wednesday, as Sweden agreed with two neighboring countries to deepen military cooperation.The spokesman said Sweden had called in Russian diplomatic representatives to protest the breach on September 14 by “two Russian corvettes which entered territorial waters near Gothenburg”.The Swedish military has also reported that a Danish military…

23 Sep 2020

Russian Navy Vessel Collides with Container Ship in Danish Waters

Ice Rose - Credit: pinko palinko - MarineTraffic

A Russian navy vessel collided with a Swiss-owned container ship in Danish waters on Wednesday near the Oresund Bridge linking Denmark and Sweden, Danish defense authorities told Reuters.The Ice Rose, which was sailing from St. Petersburg in Russia to Gothenburg in Sweden, collided with a Russian frigate early on Wednesday morning, a spokesman for the Joint Operation Centre said.He said the reason for the collision was not clear, but that the Russian vessel had permission to be…

23 Sep 2020

World's Top Ship Insurers Won't Cover Ships Linked to Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

A vessel connecting pipe sections above water at the Nord Stream 2 project last year - Credit: Nord Stream 2.

The world's largest group of shipping insurers will not insure vessels involved in the Russian-led Nord Stream 2 and TurkStream gas pipeline projects because of the threat of U.S. sanctions.Associations belonging to the International Group of P&I Clubs, including the Shipowners' Club and the London P&I Club, said in a circular on Monday that it would not provide cover "for any activity involving or related to the Nord Stream 2 or TurkStream construction projects".It said members…

22 Sep 2020

World's Largest Nuclear Icebreaker Embarks on Arctic Voyage

(Photo: Atomflot)

A nuclear-powered ice breaker Russia says is the world’s largest and most powerful set off on Tuesday on a two-week journey to the Arctic as part of Moscow’s efforts to tap the region’s commercial potential.Known as Arktika, the nuclear icebreaker left St. Petersburg and headed for the Arctic port of Murmansk, a journey that marks its entry into Russia’s icebreaker fleet.Russian state firm Rosatomflot has called the vessel the world’s largest and most powerful icebreaker.

17 Sep 2020

SCHOTTEL to Open Service Center in Russia

(Photo: Schottel)

German propulsion specialist SCHOTTEL's management board approved the acquisition of a 3,000-square-meter plot of land in Saint Petersburg, Russia, paving way for the construction of a new service center to strengthen OOO SCHOTTEL’s market position in the region.The company said it expects to plan and build an administration building with repair workshop and warehouse site on the purchased property within the next two years.Founded in 2011, OOO SCHOTTEL has equipped a number of inland waterways vessels with propulsion systems, especially in the cargo and passenger transport segments.

17 Sep 2020

Fit for Fight: Navies challenged by COVID at sea, ashore

Fit for the COVID Fight: Sailors stand in ranks before manning the rails of Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Photos: U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Christian Huntington

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, navies adjusted how they operate at home and while deployed, to keep their forces ready for any missions as they keep their Sailors, families, communities, as well as allies and partners safe from the coronavirus.Navies have taken a number of prudent preventative measures to limit outbreaks, mitigate cases of infection and reduce the community spread of the virus.Speaking during his May 29 “On The Horizon: Navigating the European and African Theaters” podcast, Admiral James G. Foggo III, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, said The U.S.

16 Sep 2020

Germany Offered to Build LNG Terminals to Avert US Pipeline Sanctions

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

Berlin offered to spend 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to build two liquid natural gas terminals in a bid to dissuade the United States from imposing sanctions over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, due to bring gas directly from Russia to Germany, Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.The weekly paper said Finance Minister Olaf Scholz made the proposal in an Aug. 7 letter before Washington imposed sanctions on companies involved in building the Baltic Sea pipeline, effectively freezing its…

15 Sep 2020

Sovcomflot Targets at Least $500 Million in Moscow IPO

(Photo: Sovcomflot)

Sovcomflot plans to raise at least $500 million in an initial public offering (IPO) on the Moscow Exchange, Russia’s top shipping company said on Tuesday, in a deal that could value it at roughly $10 billion according to sources.The move by the state-controlled firm comes as Russian airline Aeroflot also plans to raise capital in a secondary public offering (SPO).For Aeroflot, the cash is needed to fight the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.Sovcomflot (SCF) which is raising money to spend on new projects and reduce debt aims to list in early October…

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