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Licensed Russian ships still do business with India

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At least seven Russian ships licensed by the US for ties to a shipping company with a history of transporting weapons on behalf of the Russian government have docked in India over the past month, facing the Biden administration. It highlights the issues. Implement sanctions imposed on Moscow by the United States and its allies seeking to isolate the Kremlin over its February invasion of Ukraine.

An analysis of the maritime traffic of more than 100 US-licensed Russian ships reveals that six cargo ships and at least one oil tanker have docked in India in the past month. It’s unclear what happened on board, but the ships were targeted earlier this year by the U.S. Treasury Department for being affiliated with a licensed Russian shipping company with a history of shipping weapons on behalf of the Russian government. I was.

“These ships and their owners are repeat offenders that analysts have been monitoring for years,” said the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a nonprofit that tracks international illegal networks and sanctions compliance. program director Jack Margolin said.Margolin has data on sanctioned Russian ships foreign policy“They have a history of aiding both Russian sanctions evasion and arms trafficking.”

At least seven Russian ships licensed by the US for ties to a shipping company with a history of transporting weapons on behalf of the Russian government have docked in India over the past month, facing the Biden administration. It highlights the issues. Implement sanctions imposed on Moscow by the United States and its allies seeking to isolate the Kremlin over its February invasion of Ukraine.

An analysis of the maritime traffic of more than 100 US-licensed Russian ships reveals that six cargo ships and at least one oil tanker have docked in India in the past month. It’s unclear what happened on board, but the ships were targeted earlier this year by the U.S. Treasury Department for being affiliated with a licensed Russian shipping company with a history of shipping weapons on behalf of the Russian government. I was.

“These ships and their owners are repeat offenders that analysts have been watching for years,” Jack Margolin said. program director sThe Center for Advanced Defense Studies is a non-profit organization that tracks global illegal networks and sanctions compliance.Margolin has data on sanctioned Russian ships foreign policy“They have a history of aiding both Russian sanctions evasion and arms trafficking.”

Two of the licensed cargo vessels are: Adler and the AscalonAn investigation by an independent Russian news site found that it was involved in shipping S-400 surface-to-air missiles from Russia to China in 2018, but operated under a different name. Medusa. second ship, Maia 1Calling at Cochin Port, report transported military equipment. oil tanker is Indah,Previously defendant A ban on Iranian crude oil shipments by US-based advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran.

“A network like this will continue to be a lifeline for Russia and its war effort as long as it can catch enforcement gaps,” Margolin said.

India’s dealings with sanctioned Russian vessels do not directly violate US sanctions, they simply prevent US citizens and entities from doing business with blacklisted Russian companies. But Daniel Freed, a former career diplomat who served as the US State Department’s sanctions coordinator during Russia’s first attack on Ukraine in 2014, said that India has used secondary sanctions to do business with sanctioned Russian entities. may be subject to severe sanctions. Enforcement is going to be very important because it’s as far-reaching as what we have against Russia,” he said.

Spokespeople for the U.S. National Security Council, the Treasury Department and the Indian Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment for this article.

India’s continued trade with Russia is putting the Biden administration in a bind. He is trying to persuade India, the world’s largest economy, to curb arms and oil purchases from Moscow without alienating New Delhi, the center of the administration’s India policy. – A Pacific strategy, including activation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Alliance with Japan and Australia. In March, U.S. President Joe Biden’s deputy national security adviser, Daleep Singh, said during a visit to India that while there was a U.S. consulate in Mumbai, countries seeking to evade U.S. sanctions against Russia He warned that there would be “consequences.” I have written In June, he requested the city’s port authorities to prevent Russian ships from entering the port.

“I know the administration has quietly warned countries, including India, for months to avoid providing material support to sanctioned Russian entities,” Fried said.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presents a dilemma for New Delhi. New Delhi has long maintained a position of strategic autonomy, abstaining from a UN General Assembly vote condemning the attack in early March. About 85% of India’s military equipment comes from Russia or the Soviet Union, and the country has relied on Moscow to procure and develop cutting-edge technologies such as air defense, supersonic cruise missiles and naval nuclear propulsion, according to the Stimson Center.

“[India] Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia program at the Wilson Center, has long seen Russia as a loyal and potentially reliable friend fighting for India on the world stage.

Europe and the US have tried to wean the economy away from Russian energy, cutting off India’s imports of Russian oil, one of the Kremlin’s most lucrative sources of income. sharply increased It increased by almost 300% between January and April this year, and coal imports increased by 345% during the same period. Yet Russia accounts for a portion of India’s oil imports, and the subcontinent’s dependence on Russian energy pales in comparison to Europe’s energy dependence on Moscow.

Moscow has promised for years to pivot to Asian economies to protect itself from Western sanctions, but experts say it’s a strategy there is a limitAnalysis of calls to Asian ports by Russian flagged vessels from March to July of this year. foreign policy by a global maritime analytics provider maritime traffic, We can see a slight decrease in the number of stopovers compared to the same period last year. An exception is India, where traffic from Russian-flagged vessels has almost quadrupled.

“New Delhi intends to consider its decision to continue trade with Russia to be a purely economic decision, nothing more, nothing less,” Kugelman said.