The US has widened its sanctions dragnet against Russia even further, to include seven LNG carrier newbuildings under construction or already launched at the Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex to be operated by Sovcomflot.

The US Treasury said late on Wednesday it did so as part of efforts to “impede Russia’s development of future energy projects” — in particular the Obsky LNG, Arctic LNG 1 and Arctic LNG 3 projects.

The seven sister ships hit by the measure are the 172,600-cbm Sergei Witte, Alexey Kosygin, Pyotr Stolypin, as well as Hull Nos Zvezda 44, 45, 46, 47 (all built 2024 and 2025).

The ships are listed with Smart LNG, which is a joint venture between Sovcomflot and Novatek.

The project has been making headlines for years.

Before the US started imposing sanctions on Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine, South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries was initially involved, assisting ship construction at Russia’s Zvezda.

In April, Reuters reported Novatek had suspended production from Arctic LNG 2 because of Western sanctions and a lack of specialist ice-class ships.

TradeWinds reported earlier this month about Novatek reportedly moving 200 of its own workers to Zvezda to speed up work on the much-needed LNG carriers.

Six more Arc7 ships were due to be built by Hanwha Ocean in South Korea: three for Sovcomflot, which is already sanctioned, and three for Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines.

But Sovcomflot’s trio was cancelled due to sanctions.

In February, TradeWinds reported that MOL’s vessels have not been included in new US sanctions.