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BATUMI, Georgia -- Georgian naval vessels have intercepted the Russian-flagged tanker "Saratov City" in the port of Batumi and charged it with polluting the Black Sea, RFE/RL's Echo of the Caucasus reports.

A Batumi court today fined the ship's owners 65,000 Georgian laris (about $37,000). The vessel was detained and the crew arrested on April 17, Georgian and Russian media reported.

Georgian officials said the crew and its vessel will be held until the fine is paid.

According to, the "Saratov City" belongs to a company named Volgotanker that is registered in Samara. Its home port is the Russian city of Astrakhan on the Caspian Sea.

Volgotanker has declined to comment on the charge that its ship was polluting the sea.