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UK-based Shell has idled two liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships belonging to a Russian firm in a bid to avoid the risk of sanctions due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Last month, the company decided to suspend the ships’ services and bear the economic expenses, reported Bloomberg, citing people familiar with the matter.

The ships, SCF Barents and SCF Timmerman, were moored off the coast of Singapore for many weeks, according to Bloomberg’s ship-tracking data.

Russian state-owned company Sovcomflot owns both of the ships. It has a long-term charter agreement with Shell.

The ships are deployed to carry LNG within Asia and are not directly involved in any sanctions.

The ships were idled by the company as a precautionary measure, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The news agency quoted Shell as saying in an emailed statement: “We can confirm that the two mentioned SCF LNG ships are now idling.

“We conduct our business in compliance with international and national laws, abiding by applicable sanctions and trade control measures.”

This makes Shell the latest energy company to self-sanction as a response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen stated that the European Union aims to impose a ban on Russian ships and trucks.

UK ports have already imposed a ban on Russian-owned, controlled, chartered or operated vessels.

Last month, the UK sanctioned Sovcomflot, which operates a fleet of ships that transport oil and LNG from Russia and carry cargoes from other countries.