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VLADIVOSTOK, March 13. /TASS/. The crew of the Russian cargo ship Sevastopol, detained in the Indian port of Mumbai since mid-February, is facing the shortages of food and water, the chairman of the Far Eastern branch of the Russian sailors’ trade union said on Friday.
The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has joined the effort to solve the crisis by helping the crew to get a special permission for receiving the supplies in the coming days, Nikolay Sukhanov said.
"Food and water supplies onboard the vessel are in fact nearly exhausted, but the situation is not critical. As the ship is in neutral waters, then a permission of India’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Mumbai is needed to get the foodstuffs," Sukhanov said.
An ITF inspector has pledged to get this permission. The situation is expected to be solved in the near future, he added.
The Gudzon shipping company, based in Vladivostok, on February 17 informed the Russian consulate general in Mumbai that the Indian coast guards had detained its Sevastopol vessel in neutral waters some 110 miles from Mumbai.
The Russian cargo ship was detained three days after leaving the port, the company’s director general said, adding that the vessel had all the necessary permissions from the local authorities.
However, India’s authorities said the vessel was under arrest in line with the Madras High Court’s order over a commercial dispute between the Russian ship owner and its Indian contractor.
The Indian company has demanded $200,000 for the release of the vessel.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is calling on the parties to find the mutually accepted solutions to end the commercial dispute.