Russian ship: an Estonian entity tries to prevent a Russian ship from entering an Indian port

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In what was the second such attempt to prevent Russian ships from unloading at an Indian port, an Estonian entity in Mumbai attempted to prevent a Russian cargo ship from unloading military items in Cochin destined for the Indian military. The American consulate had already made a similar attempt

Moscow raised the issue with the Indian government.

An Estonian entity reportedly sued, but the court allowed the unloading of military items destined for India. The Kerala High Court on Monday ordered the seizure of a Russian vessel, MV MAIA-I, for non-payment of fuel charges of around 1.87 crore rupees to an Estonian company.

The Russian Embassy in a statement noted that it was aware of the detention of a Russian cargo ship in the Indian port of Cochin, aboard which military cargo for the Indian Armed Forces was delivered.

According to preliminary information, these actions are related to the claim of the Estonian shore services company Bunker Partner OU, which claimed that the owners of the vessel would be in debt. “We would like to point out that the court allowed the unloading of the cargo, because it has nothing to do with the trial,” according to the Russian Embassy.

The Russian Consulate General in Chennai is directly monitoring this situation, the embassy added.

The Russian Embassy has sent an official request to the Indian Foreign Ministry for an explanation of the circumstances of the incident. “We also asked the ministry to ensure unconditional respect for the rights of Russian shipowners and crew.”

Earlier, India made an exception to US Consulate (Mumbai) suggestion that Russian ships should not be allowed into Mumbai port and asserted that it is New Delhi’s sovereign right to deal with partners global in the national interest.

The move had raised eyebrows at the South Block here as the US Consulate General in Mumbai wrote directly to the Mumbai Port Authority last month asking it not to allow Russian ships to dock at the port due US sanctions against Russia.

Sources had told ET that it was India’s sovereign decision to engage with countries in the national interest. The United States later said the conversation with India was a private conversation. But sources here stressed that such diplomatic conversations are not private. Members of the diplomatic community had told ET that the US consulate’s decision was unnecessary.

Expressing reservations about the US move, Derek J Grossman of the RAND Corporation and a keen observer of India-US relations tweeted: “It appears the Biden admin has changed tack when pressuring the government. ‘India. Instead of speaking directly to New Delhi, the US Consulate in Mumbai writes a letter to the Mumbai Port Authority to ban Russian ships. Of course, New Delhi found out. Stupid US decision.

India has not only become the main importer of Russian oil to meet its growing needs, but is also seeking to expand its presence in Russian Far East oil assets. ET had reported on Sunday that Russia had launched a chartered vessel to supply essential raw materials to India in addition to operationalizing the North-South international transport corridor to boost bilateral trade. And on Tuesday, India announced an international trade in national currencies that would boost rupee-ruble trade.

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