Russia’s sanctioned state shipyard group United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) says it will build four feeder vessels for a route linking the Middle East to Europe through the Caspian Sea.

USC chief executive Alexei Rakhmanov said construction will begin in March or April of next year.

According to PortNews and Business World Magazine, he told reporters at the 16th Transport of Russia forum that “allocations” for the project are foreseen under the “GTLK programme”, a reference to the sanctioned Russian state leasing company.