ICS board member is head of sanctioned Russian company

The decision by the US Treasury to include river-sea-class vessel operator Pola Rise as one of the 230 Russian entities blacklisted in its latest round of sanctions appears to have had perhaps unintended consequences. The director of Pola Rise (aka Pola Raiz), Albert Vygovskii, was also a board member of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

Pola Rise has a fleet of 22 ships, all of which look to have been named and sanctioned. Those vessels serve ports in Russia’s western littoral and inland waters. (https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-takes-sweeping-actions-on-the-one-year-anniversary-of-russias-war-against-ukraine/)

Historically, these vessels also had served short-sea routes to neighbouring states in Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Baltic and the Black Sea. However, Vygovskii was not named in this statement.

The US Department of State included Pola Rise in the new sanctions list because it had been “increasing Russia’s trade with Turkey and facilitating shipments of materials to Arctic construction sites.”

Vygovskii, 52, is the head of Pola Rise and has been involved in the Russian inland shipping sector since 1995. He attended Lloyd’s Maritime Academy and Copenhagen Business School, and he went on to run Volga-Baltic Logistics Company, North-Western Shipping Company and Pola Rise, where he has been the general director since 2018. Linking to the page about Vygovskii on the ICS web site now generates a “Page Not Found” message.

Vygovskii joined the ICS board in June 2021, but a UK corporate registry now lists his status with ICS as “resigned”, effective February 28th ,according to reports.