Responding queries from Seatrade Maritime News over its Russian operations, René Kofod-Olsen, Chief Executive Officer at V.Group said: “V.Group is committed to following the letter and the spirt of the law across all our operations and locations. The Group is compliant with all current financial and operational sanctions in force and continually monitors our compliance across all suppliers, vendors, stakeholders, and clients.
“This formalised policy has been applicable and operational for numerous years.”
V.Group’s website lists six offices in Russia under the BGI name, and in early 2017 it was granted ship management services accreditation for Russian-flagged vessels in Russia.
Many major businesses have ceased business with Russia regardless of current sanctions, major energy companies such as BP, Equinor and Shell have announced plans to unwind their Russian investments, while top shipping lines AP Moller – Maersk, MSC, and CMA CGM have all suspended business with Russian. Companies that continue to do business in Russia are coming under increasing pressure to suspend or cease operations.
UK-headquartered V.Group also has extensive interests in the Ukraine and along with Russia the two countries supply 15% of the world’s seafarers.
“We are deeply concerned about the current situation in Ukraine and the impact on the people in the region. The safety of our seafarers, vessels and cargo of our partners in this extremely worrying time is of paramount importance to us and we have engaged our Group Emergency Response Committee to continually review the situation,” Kofod-Olsen said.
He stressed the difference between individual citizens and the actions of nation states.
“We reiterate the importance of differentiating between the needs and decisions of individual citizens – irrespective of nationality - and the State decisions of their respective nations. We stand with all colleagues affected by this crisis,” Kofod-Olsen stated.
“Our employee engagement programme and wellbeing hotlines are in place to support all crew and we are doing our utmost to aid communication between crew and their friends and families.
“As the safety and security of all our seafarers is of paramount importance, we will not be making any comments on operational matters.”
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