(Bloomberg) -- India has granted marine insurance approval to four Russian firms, adding impetus to Moscow’s efforts to avoid the use of Western service providers.

Russia’s VSK Insurance, Sogaz Insurance Co. and Alfastrakhovanie PCL have got approval to provide marine insurance until Feb. 20, 2025, the Directorate General of Shipping website showed. The validity of Moscow-based Ingrosstrakh Insurance Company was extended through March 2029. 

Insurance coverage from all four providers is backed by state-run Russian National Reinsurance Co., according to three people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak with the media.

Russia has been using Western insurers to cover the tanker fleet exporting its oil to India. However, a $60-a-barrel price-cap set by the Group of Seven nations and its partners in the European Union, for crude shipments using services based in their countries, gave them leverage over Russia oil flows. 

Using its own insurance services will help reduce Moscow’s dependence and compliance for Indian buyers. 

Less than a quarter of Russian shipments in March to all destinations were insured by members of the London-based International Group of P&I Clubs, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg. The twelve P&I Clubs which comprise this group between them provide marine liability cover for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going cargoes.

Moscow has been India’s top crude oil supplier. India’s oil imports from Russia in April are at around 1.72 million barrels a day, their highest since July, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

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