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Repairs of India-bound Russian sub hit by lack of funds: report

Repairs to an ill-fated Russian nuclear submarine that is due to be leased to India have been hampered as the shipyard has not been paid for its work, its chief said on Thursday.

world Updated: Oct 08, 2009 11:58 IST

Repairs to an ill-fated Russian nuclear submarine that is due to be leased to India have been hampered as the shipyard has not been paid for its work, its chief said on Thursday.

The Nerpa attack submarine, on which 20 people were killed in an accident last year, "returned to its base after successful tests where it should be subject to more in-dock work and then state tests, but there are problems," said Nikolai Povzyk, head of the Vostok shipyard which makes the submarine.

"The Vostok's electrical supply is currently cut off for debts, and we never got the money for the work we have done," Ria-Novosti news agency quoted Povzyk as saying.

The shipyard was due to be paid 1.9 billion rubles (63.8 million dollars) for repairing the submarine after last year's accident but has not yet been paid, he said.

The Nerpa was undergoing trials in the Sea of Japan last November when the submarine's fire-fighting system accidently went off, filling it with a toxic gas that killed 20 people on board and injuring another 20, in the latest in a string of tragedies to hit Russia's submarine fleet in recent years.

State media said at the time that the Nerpa was to be delivered to India, under a deal in which New Delhi would pay Moscow two billion dollars for two submarines with an option to buy them when the lease runs out.