The Kremlin has shrugged off reports of a US crackdown on G7-linked ships hauling Russian crude.

The US authorities are said to have sent letters to more than 30 shipowners and vessel managers, mainly Greek companies, in an apparent effort to put pressure on the tanker sector over possible price cap breaches.

Freight rates for hauling Russian crude increased after the US imposed sanctions on two tankers in October but Russia said it was “adjusting to those conditions”.