The Director of Ukraine Standards, Oleg Shvydky, has been temporarily removed from the ISO committee on oil and gas arctic operations after voting to approve the controversial appointment of the Russian representative, Sergey (Sergei) Baranov, for the post of Chair.

The vote by Ukraine caused a lot of observers to wonder, privately, if some mistake had been made. Ukraine was one of 14 nations that voted to approve Baranov, who is an executive with Gazprom, a Russian state-run firm that is under multiple international sanctions for its role in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Baranov was approved largely due to fifteen nations, including Australia, Netherlands, and the United States, opting to “abstain” rather than vote against Russia. Had the nations not abstained, Russia would have been denied the Chair seat.

Oxebridge previously reported on the issue, calling the choice by US representatives from ANSI and the American Petroleum Institute as “cowardly.”

Oleg Shvydky

Ukrainian officials are investigating if Shvydky’s vote was done in error, and some have pointed to confusion over the ballot form that was submitted and an attached cover letter which may have led some parties to vote against their actual intention.

Ukraine Standards has sent a letter to the ISO Technical Committee responsible, asking to have their vote canceled. Because of the nations that abstained, a reversal of Ukraine’s vote will not affect Baranov’s appointment.

ISO has refused to eject Russia from key committees and continues to support Russia despite its invasion of Ukraine and bombing of the Ukrainian Standards committee building. ISO Secretary-General Sergio Mujica, of Chile, congratulated Russia just two weeks after its invasion of Ukraine, and has refused to issue any statements condemning the invasion. At least one of ISO’s full-time marketing staffers is Russian: Mariya Shabaldina is listed as ISO’s “Reginal Coordinator for Europe and Central Asia.”

ISO has tried to stake its position in the world as a neutral, international body, such as the United Nations. In reality, ISO is a publishing company that generates revenue through the sale of books and licensing of intellectual property.


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Why we report on these topics

Since 2000, Oxebridge has worked to improve ISO and related certification schemes by identifying problems and then proposing solutions. We report on issues affecting standards users because so few other news outlets do. Our belief is that in order to fix the problems in these schemes, we must first understand the nature and breadth of those problems. Our reporting aims to do just that. Elsewhere on the Oxebridge site you will find White Papers and other articles proposing ideas to correct these problems.