NEW DELHI, December 17 - RAPSI. India has lifted the custody it has exercised for the past few months over a Russian research vessel, Academic Boris Petrov. It has already left the port of Mumbai and is heading to a repair base, Alexei Novikov, Russian Consul General in India, told RIA Novosti on Monday.

"The vessel has been in India about two years. It was arrested as part of a lawsuit filed by an Indian agent. On December 10, the High Court of Mumbai ruled to lift the arrest on the vessel, and on December 13, the vessel left Mumbai," Novikov said.

Academic Boris Petrov was conducting research by the coast of Goa.

Two years ago, the Indian agent claimed that the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, the owner of the vessel, did not pay him the funds stipulated by their contract with him.

After protracted proceedings, the vessel was seized this past November. On December 10, the court lifted the arrest, as the owner paid a deposit for it under the lawsuit.
The institute plans to dispute the case after the documents have been examined by experts in Moscow.

"The vessel is already on its way to a repair base. Academic Boris Petrov will probably be repaired in Singapore or China. The crew has sent a letter of gratitude to the Consulate General's Office for its assistance in the vessel's release," Novikov said.