Tuesday, June 6 2017 23:17 EEST
Reason revealed why Ukrainian cruise liner heading for Rostov
Reason, Revealed, Ukrainian,  Cruise, Heading, Rostov

Ukraine's General Vatutin river-sea-type cruise liner, which Dumskaya newspaper said unexpectedly diverted from its alleged route and headed toward Russia's Rostov, had earlier arrived in the Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti where it was sold, CEO of Chervona Ruta cruise travel operator Yuriy Sokolov told the newspaper in a telephone comment.

There are no passengers on board the ship, Sokolov said, adding that the vessel had in fact not meant to enter the Odesa port, as was reported initially.

He said that "the ship was bound for the Moldovan port of Giurgiulesti", while the decision to transfer to the Rostov port was taken by the liner's new owner.

"'Chervona Ruta' was renting the vessel. The owner was a subsidiary of a Cyprus-based company. The subsidiary returned the investment of the parent company. In 2002, the ship was taken to the territory of Ukraine as an investment. After three and a half years of no operations, the investor decided to withdraw the ship to sell or transfer it. It's their business. Everyone was waiting for better times. Unfortunately, these times never came. The owner has changed, now the ship is under the flag of Belize. She used to be Ukrainian, roaming under the Ukrainian flag. But two weeks ago, it was officially withdrawn from the Ukrainian registry of ships. The new owner raised the flag of Belize, obtained new documents, and went off," Sokolov said.

Sokolov stressed that the liner has not carried any tourists since October 2013.

"It has rotted at the pier for three and a half years. It was easier to drown it than continue maintenance, paying security, the crew... The market evidences that Ukraine does not need so many vessels like this," he said.

In turn, the press service of the Administration of Seaports of Ukraine confirmed that the General Vatutin passenger ship had not planned to enter the Odesa sea port.

As UNIAN reported earlier citing Dumskaya newspaper, Ukraine's General Vatutin river-sea-type cruise liner did not enter the allegedly planned destination port of Odesa and started heading for Russia's Rostov.

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