28 Aug 2018 09:36

Russian vessel Palladium stopped while leaving S. Korea's Busan port

VLADIVOSTOK. Aug 28 (Interfax) - South Korea's coastguard service stopped the Russian vessel Palladium as it was preparing to leave the Busan port, a spokesperson for the vessel's owner, Daltrans, told Interfax.

"There are 15 Russian sailors on board the vessel. Nothing is threatening them. The vessel is now being towed back to the Busan port," the spokesperson said, without elaborating why the ship has been detained.

The Russian Foreign Ministry's office in Vladivostok has declined to comment.

For his part, Nikolai Sukhanov, spokesman for the Far East regional organization of the Russian sailors' trade union, told Interfax that the company that owns the Palladium will now have to sort out this issue with the port administration.

"The information available to Vladivostok's rescue coordination center indicates that the Palladium failed to properly register its departure and port inspectors did not check it prior to departure. It is quite a serious violation. The vessel's owner may face a solid fine," Sukhanov said.

"Besides, the International Transport Workers' Federation has also put forth its complaints related to wage arrears and the fact that the vessel's owner failed to fulfill its obligations linked with the repatriation of sailors. The vessel is most likely to stay in Busan pending inquiry," he said.

Acting on the port administration's orders, the vessel left Busan on August 23 in order to sit out a typhoon and then returned to the port, he said.

A representative of the Russian Consulate General in Busan planned to visit the Palladium on Monday to solve issues concerning the vessel's documents and the sailors' repatriation.

It was reported earlier that five crewmembers of the Russian vessel Palladium, which is undergoing repairs in South Korea's Busan port, asked the Far East regional organization of the Russian sailors' trade union to help them return home.

The Busan port administration detained the Palladium in June, citing overdue wages to the ship's crew. The company's five-month unpaid wages to eight crewmembers stood at 250,000 rubles. According to the sailors' trade union, the ship's owner paid most of its wage arrears to the crew after the Russian Investigative Committee's Far East transport branch and the International Transport Workers' Federation's inspectorate were alerted of that situation.