Cooperation between Russia and Italy to build a new generation small submarine has been stopped as European countries toughen measures against Russia.
The 1,000 ton diesel submarine S-1000 has been under development for about ten years. The joint project between Russia’s company Rubin and Italian ship-maker Fincantieri has been a part of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to modernise Russia’s military technology.
"To our regret, due to the well-known political situation this project has been suspended," Russian news agency Itar-Tass quoted Igor Vilnit, the head of Rubin's Central Design Bureau for Marine Engineering, as saying
The latest round of EU sanctions targeting Russian arms producers, including some of the most iconic names in Soviet and Russian weaponry, comes about a week after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down in eastern Ukraine. It is believed the plane was hit by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists who had been supplied with the weapons by Russia.
European deliveries of military technology to Russia are only one part of the sanctions. Yesterday, the European Commission said European technology companies should cease working with Russia on development of Arctic oil fields and other energy projects.
The diplomats said the EU was considering restricting Russian access to piping used for building oil and natural gas pipelines, drilling pipes to extract oil and gas, floating or submersible drilling platforms, as well as floating cranes and dredging equipment
If the sanctions are put in place, many Russian energy projects including Gazprom’s South Stream pipeline are likely to be considerably delayed. The South Stream project, foreseen to bring natural gas from the Black Sea through Bulgaria and further to central Europe, relies heavily on European know-how.
Gazprom's main partners in South Stream are Italy's Eni, France's EDF, Austria's OMV and Germany's Wintershall, which is a subsidiary of German chemical giant BASF.
"If Europe's engineering partners are prevented from work on any of the big Russian oil or gas projects because of the sanctions, they are almost certainly going to be delayed," said one advisory source that works on Russian energy projects.
Previously, the European Commission, has suspended negotiations on making South Stream conform with EU legislation.
The currently proposed sanctions should not affect Europe’s energy supplies, which rely heavily on imports from Russia.