The Lesvos Port Authority yesterday expressed fears that a Russian asbestos-laden ship, which has been moored off the island since it foundered there last week, could provoke serious environmental pollution. The Ataman, loaded with 3,256 tons of asbestos and with 40 tons of diesel in its engines, suffered a 20-meter gash when it foundered last Tuesday. Authorities have set up floating dikes around the ship to curb the spread of any fuel leakages while it waits for the Russian shipowners to collect the vessel. But Port Authority officials told Kathimerini that the shipowners are unwilling to collect the ship as the required repairs would exceed the vessel’s insurance value. «There are certain problems with the shipping firm, which has not shown the necessary interest,» Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis said.