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July 20, 2022

Russia seeks MEA intervention as India seizes Russian cargo ship

The detention order was issued following a lawsuit filed by Estonian shore service company Bunker Partner OU.

The Russian embassy in India has revealed that it is aware of the Russian cargo ship impounded at Cochin port in the Indian state of Kerala, reported Reuters.

Following a lawsuit filed by Estonian shore service company Bunker Partner OU, the Kerala high court ordered the detention of the Russian ship, MV MAIA-1.

The Estonian company claimed that the owners of the vessel had a debt, and the court ordered the ship’s seizure for not paying fuel charges of around Rs18.7m ($23,503.14) to the company.

In its order, the court stated “On going through the averments in the plaint and also the affidavit filed in support of the application, I am satisfied that a prima facie case warranting an exparte order of arrest has been made out. Accordingly, a conditional order of arrest is issued,” reported The Economic Times.

The Russian embassy has made an official request to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India for an ‘explanation of the circumstances of the incident’ and to ensure ‘unconditional observance of the rights of the Russian owners and crew’.

The Russian embassy stated that the impounded ship was being used for the supply of military cargo for the Indian armed forces.

The Russian maritime sector has been hit following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent sanctions by Western nations.

Last month, some reports claimed that India was offering safety certification to Russian oil tankers through a Dubai entity, which was reportedly a subsidiary of Russia’s Sovcomflot.

However, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) later rebutted these claims, saying none of the companies that owned the ships were registered in Russia.

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