An English court has reinstated a $2m arbitration award to a charterer linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska after judges ruled that a shipowner should have accepted payment in euros to avoid sanctions concerns.

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

RTI offered to settle its bills in euros, rather than dollars, to ensure that payments were not blocked in the US banking system.