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Singapore Arrests Sanctioned Russian Vessel

“We could lose this ship,” the deputy director of Russia's Gudzon shipping company said. Yury Smityuk / TASS

Authorities in Singapore plan to arrest a Russian vessel under U.S. sanctions for violating economic sanctions imposed on North Korea, Interfax reported Friday.

The U.S. Treasury targeted Russia’s Gudzon shipping company in 2018 with sanctions on six of its vessels, including the tanker Sevastopol. South Korea briefly held the Sevastopol last year and China later refused to repair Gudzon’s other container ship.

“Singapore sent papers saying it’s arresting the ship over parking debts,” Oleg Anikin, Gudzon’s deputy director, was quoted as saying. “We could lose this ship.”

Singapore plans to confiscate the Sevastopol through court and sell it at a public auction, he added. He said the trial was set for Dec. 17.

The debts are estimated at 61 million rubles ($950,000), according to the Ekho Moskvy radio station. It reported that the Sevastopol experienced auxiliary-engine failure when it docked in Singapore this February.

Russia’s Embassy in Singapore said the Sevastopol was seized because of a commercial dispute and not sanctions, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The 12 crew members have enough provisions but are not allowed to leave the vessel, Anikin told RIA Novosti.

“Singapore hopes the court will hand it the vessel, then American sanctions against could be lifted and it could be sold,” he added.

Russia denies the allegations that it supplied North Korea with refined petroleum products in violation of UN Security Council restrictions and has called the sanctions groundless.

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