A charterer hit by sanctions imposed on Russia’s former richest man is appealing to the English courts over the loss of a $2m arbitration award when its contract was ended by Dutch bulker specialist MUR Shipping.

MUR Shipping triggered the force majeure clause in its contract of affreightment with RTI in April 2018 four days after the US government imposed sanctions on metals magnate Oleg Deripaska, then president of the charterer’s parent company, Rusal.

RTI wanted to continue with the two-year deal but MUR Shipping rejected an offer to settle bills in euros to avoid the possibility of US banks refusing to process dollar payments as agreed in the original 2016 contract of affreightment.