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Indian Register of Shipping (IRS) has clarified its position in regard to recent media reports that allege links to Russia amid Moscow’s ongoing military offensive against Ukraine.

Responding to the reports, IRS stated that it has been asked to offer safety-related classification and survey services by Dubai-based entities, whose ships are registered in Liberia as well as Cyprus.

The classification society said that none of the ships mentioned carry the Russian flag, and none of the companies owning the vessels are registered in Russia.

In a statement, IRS said: “We also understand that each of these vessels is owned by entities which are registered in above-mentioned flag states, as is the long-standing and customary practise in international shipping.

“The vessels are operated by various entities in Dubai and in other parts of the world.”

IRS also explained its position on the media reports that mentioned international and global sanctions, adding: “As far as we are aware there are no United Nations-mandated sanctions on Russia.

“These descriptions in fact refer to sanctions issued by the United States of America and some European countries.

“We note the vast majority of countries around the world, including India, have not issued sanctions against Russia.”

IRS further stated that its key objective is to ensure the maximum level of safety on board the vessels it classifies, adding that it will adhere to international law.

Recently, Reuters reported that IRS was providing safety certification for more than 80 ships managed by Dubai-based SCF Management Services, a Sovcomflot subsidiary.

The report also noted that the majority of Sovcomflot’s fleet has moved to IRClass through the Dubai unit.