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17 August 2017
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U.S. sanctions firms of Putin's allies building Kerch Bridge in annexed Crimea

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on September 1 extended sanctions against Russian companies of President Vladimir Putin's allies engaged in the construction of the Kerch Bridge in Russia-annexed Crimea.

REUTERS
REUTERS

In particular, the action targets the following 18 construction, transportation, and defense entities pursuant to Designations Regarding Crimean Entities under Executive Order 13685, which authorizes sanctions on, among others, any person determined to operate in the Crimea region of Ukraine, the U.S. Department of the Treasury said.

Except as otherwise noted, the persons listed below are designated for operating in the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Russia's SGM-Most OOO, which is owned by previously designated gas pipeline construction company Stroygazmontazh, is the chief contractor for the construction of the Kerch Bridge, which would span the Kerch Strait to connect the Crimean peninsula with Russia.

PJSC Mostotrest is a major Russian construction company engaged in the construction of bridges, roads, and other transport infrastructure facilities.  In March 2016, SGM-Most OOO awarded a multi-billion ruble construction contract to Mostotrest for the development of the Kerch Bridge.   

AO 'Institute Giprostroymost—Saint-Petersburg' designed the Kerch Bridge.  

OOO 'STG-Eko' conducted engineering and ecological studies for an Environmental Impact Assessment of the Kerch Bridge for AO 'Institute Giprostroymost—Saint-Petersburg.'

OOO 'DSK' is a Russian construction company whose work includes building access roads to bridges and overpasses.  OOO 'DSK' won an auction in September 2015 for construction work on access roads to the Kerch Bridge on both sides of the Kerch Strait.

FKU Uprdor 'Taman' is a Russian federal institution under the Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor) authorized to help manage federal highways and related structures in Crimea and in Russian Federation territory.  FKU Uprdor 'Taman' operationally manages the construction of the Kerch Bridge.

FAU 'Glavgosekspertiza Rossii' is a Russian federal institution authorized to conduct official examinations of project documentation for significant construction works in Russian Federation territory.  In 2015, after Russia's occupation and attempted annexation of the Crimean peninsula, FAU 'Glavgosekspertiza Rossii' opened a branch in the city of Sevastopol and reviewed project documentation for the Kerch Bridge.

McCain concerned over 'selective' enforcement of U.S. sanctions on RussiaDefense firms operating in Crimea and entities in the Crimean maritime sector were also sanctioned.

OOO Shipyard 'Zaliv' is a shipbuilding company in Kerch, Crimea formed after militants forcibly seized the shipyard from its previous owners in August 2014.  It holds resident status in the so-called Republic of Crimea's free economic zone and a license from the Russian government to develop military equipment.

Federal SUE Shipyard 'Morye' is a shipbuilding company located in Feodosia, Crimea.  It has increased its capacity to construct military vessels and began constructing a guided missile ship for the Russian Navy in May 2016.

OAO Ship Repair Center 'Zvezdochka' performs maintenance work on ships and submarines and is located in Severodvinsk, Russia.  It has a branch in Sevastopol, Crimea that performs repairs and maintenance work on Russian naval vessels.

SUE RC 'Feodosia Optical Plant' produces military optical products and is located in Feodosia, Crimea.  It holds a license from the Russian government to develop military equipment and produces optical sights for tanks and heavy weapons.

OAO 'Uranis-Radiosistemy' produces radio equipment and is located in Sevastopol, Crimea.  It holds resident status in the so-called Republic of Crimea's free economic zone and a license from the Russian government to develop military equipment.

Finally, the Sovfracht-Sovmortrans Group is designated pursuant to E.O. 13685 because it operates in the Crimea region of Ukraine. Affiliated companies SMT-K and LLC Koksokhimtrans are being designated for operating in the Crimea region of Ukraine and being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Sovfracht-Sovmortrans Group.  Sovfracht Managing Company LLC is being designated for being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Sovfracht-Sovmortrans Group.  Finally, OJSC Sovfracht and CJSC Sovmortrans are designated for being owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Sovfracht-Sovmortrans Group and Sovfracht Managing Company LLC.

The Sovfracht-Sovmortrans Group is a Russian shipping and logistics company comprised of several companies, including Sovfracht Managing Company LLC, OJSC Sovfracht, CJSC Sovmortrans, LLC Koksokhimtrans, and SMT-K, a unit of the group registered in Crimea.  SMT-K, an abbreviation for Sovmortrans-Crimea, has offices in Simferopol and Kerch, Crimea, and is the operator for a ferry line between the previously designated Port of Kerch in Crimea and Kavkaz in Russia.  LLC Koksokhimtrans is the registered operator and manager of two vessels that have served as ferries between Crimea and Russia.  Sovfracht Managing Company LLC has oversight over OJSC Sovfracht and CJSC Sovmortrans.  OJSC Sovfracht is the flagship company of the Sovfracht-Sovmortrans Group and specializes in transporting of general cargo, while CJSC Sovmortrans specializes in container shipping.

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