The first blacklisting of tankers by the US for Russian oil price cap breaches came with suitable fanfare and a 1,000-word statement after months of criticisms that the administration had done too little to plug the gaps in the sanctions programme.

“Today’s action demonstrates our continued commitment to reduce Russia’s resources for its war against Ukraine and to enforce the price cap,” announced deputy secretary of the US Treasury Wally Adeyemo in October as he outlined measures against two ships.