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How Vladimir Putin's Russia Is Transporting Oil To India Via Dubai, Skirting Western Sanctions

Official data has shown that India is helping Russia export oil to the South Asian nation and elsewhere amid the global sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine.

As the Western certifiers withdrew their services in Russia due to the sanctions imposed against Moscow, India took advantage of providing safety certification for dozens of ships managed by a Dubai subsidiary of a top Russian shipping group Sovcomflot, Reuters reported.

The report pointed out that certification from one of the world’s top classification companies, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), provides a final link in the paperwork chain, which is needed to keep state-owned Sovcomflot’s tanker fleet afloat and deliver crude oil to overseas markets including India.

Certification from classification societies is vital as they validate that the ships are safe and seaworthy, which is essential for gaining access to ports.

Data compiled by Reuters from the IRClass website showed that it certified more than 80 ships managed by Sovcomflot’s Dubai subsidiary, SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd.

A source familiar with the certification process told the newswire that most of Sovcomflot’s vessels had now migrated to IRClass, via the Dubai arm.

This came after TradeWinds, a shipping industry publication last week, reported that most of the Sovcomflot tanker fleet that was declassified due to western sanctions were transferred to IRClass in April and May.

India, which has never taken a clear stance against Russia invading Ukraine given its longstanding security ties, has snapped more Russian crude oil at a lower price in the recent months than it did in 2021.

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