Russian research vessel Akademik Nickolay Strakhov stranded in Colombo, crew desperate
Russian research vessel Akademik Nickolay Strakhov is stranded in Colombo port, Sri Lanka, since August 2013. Vessel doesn’t have electric power, all supplies ran out, 14 crew requires immediate assistance, some of the crew are in need of hospitalization. Vessel suffered mechanical failure (propeller shaft) while conducting research in Indian ocean, she was towed to Maldives and then to Colombo. There were 45 people on board, crew and research staff. 14 crew required for vessel’s maintenance was left on board. The problem is, the owner of the vessel, Geological Institute of Russian Academy of Science in Moscow doesn’t have money to pay port dues debts and repairs. Two years ago Mr. Putin personally enforced upon Academy of Science a new agency, a mammoth called Federal Agency of Research Organizations, notwithstanding all the protest of Russian Academy of Science and academicians. The sole purpose of the new agency is to get all the science budget from federal budget, and distribute money around hundreds of institutes and organizations. Vessel belongs to an Institute (with the crew being Institutes employees), but is financed by another organization. Agency doesn’t allocate required funds, and even more, doesn’t react to complains and requests from Institute.