The chief executive of sanctioned leading Russian tanker owner Sovcomflot has made an impassioned appeal to seafarers on board its 140 ships for loyalty as the company battles the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Igor Tonkovidov promised his seafarers that all wages would be paid in full despite tough sanctions against both the owner and the Russian financial system that have seen Russian banks barred from the international SWIFT payment system.

He promised to ensure seafarers are repatriated as fast as possible and that their health and safety remain a priority.