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VLADIVOSTOK, May 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Konstantin Bondarenko tugboat seized in the Chinese port city of Ningde over debt may depart for Russia already in early June, a crew member told TASS on Monday.
Earlier in the day, the representatives of the Russian ship owner visited the enterprise that had provided maintenance services to the vessel and reached an agreement on settling the debt, he said.
"Today the ship owner’s representatives agreed on paying off the debt for the tugboat’s repair. Paperwork will take another several weeks. In early June we plan to go home," senior mechanic Vitaliy Evseyev said.
The sides have also agreed on paying the salaries to the sailors. Currently, the wage arrears since December last year are estimated at over 4 million rubles ($81,100).
"It was agreed that the salaries for the last year will be paid on the spot. The remaining sum will be paid upon the vessel’s arrival in Russia," Evseyev said. He said the sailors have been provided with foodstuffs, water and fuel.
The 12 crew members of the vessel reported about the incident in late April. An investigation into the overdue salaries is due to be completed this week and a proceeding decision is soon to be taken.
The vessel was built in Japan in late July 1986 and its home port is Nakhodka, to the east of Vladivostok.