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Owner of seized Russian vessel in China pledges to resolve debt spat soon

May 07, 2015, 9:06 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
Russia’s Konstantin Bondarenko tugboat with 12 crew members on board is currently in the Chinese port city of Ningde
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© EPA/QILAI SHEN

VLADIVOSTOK, May 7. /TASS/. The owner and charterer of Russia’s Konstantin Bondarenko vessel detained in the Chinese port have established contact with the crew and promised to solve the financial dispute by May 15, the president of the Far Eastern Association of Sea Captains said on Thursday.

"At last, the ship owner and the charterer have showed up, and they have got in touch with the sailors and promised to settle the financial issues before them and the Chinese authorities by around May 15," Pyotr Osichansky said.

"This is already encouraging," he said.

There is around half a tonne of fuel left onboard the vessel that will be enough for just a day, Osichansky said. The crew members lack food and water, and their only meal now is noodles, the cheapest food in China.

Russia’s Investigative Committee and the Far Eastern transport prosecutors have launched a probe into the violation of the sailors’ rights and in particular into the overdue salaries. Investigators say the crew members have not been paid wages for more than two months.

Russia’s Konstantin Bondarenko tugboat with 12 crew members on board is currently in the Chinese port city of Ningde. According to preliminary reports, the ship has been detained by China’s authorities over the operator’s debts. The vessel was built in Japan in late July 1986 and its home port is Nakhodka, to the east of Vladivostok.

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