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Russia, Sri Lanka resolve standoff over stranded research vessel in Colombo — state agency

March 27, 2015, 13:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The debt was settled by the Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences which owns the research vessel
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Port in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Port in Colombo, Sri Lanka

© AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena

MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. Moscow has paid off its debt to Sri Lanka’s port Colombo for the maintenance of the Russian research vessel, the Akademik Nikolay Strakhov, the Russian Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations said on Friday.

The debt was settled by the Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences which owns the research vessel. "The overall amount of payment has reached $66,000," the agency said in a statement.

"The life support regime of the vessel has been restored. It has been re-connected to the electricity supply. Foodstuffs and drinking water have been taken onboard," the statement reads.

The repair works of the vessel could begin on May 15, it says.

The vessel has been stranded in the Colombo port since 2013 when it suffered a mechanical failure at the propeller shaft while conducting research in the Indian Ocean. Due to the lack of funds, no repair works have been conducted so far.

The president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Fortov, on Thursday said more than $2 million could be needed to repair the vessel.

Earlier reports said the overdue debt, including fines, was around $200,000.

The vessel was built in 1985 in Finland and was designed to conduct geological and geophysical research of the sea floor.

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