The state-owned Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company (UDP) has received an offer to lease its fleet to a Russian company and asked the security service, or SBU, to investigate, it said in a statement on Monday.
UDP has four passenger ships—Dnipro, Volga, Ukraina, and Moldavia—and the pleasure boat Yevhen Kosyakov.
Dnipro and Volga, which are no longer in demand, are currently in the city of Izmail, in the Odesa region, and used as temporary accommodation, while Moldova and Ukraine are in Linz, Austria, and are still capable of operating river cruises.
"We have held talks with Hungarians, Austrians, Slovaks, and other international partners. The whole Danube probably knows by now that UDP is looking for a reliable partner to take over the management of our ships," the company said.
Last week, the company said it was unexpectedly approached by the Russian Samara Travel and Excursion Bureau, which offered to time-charter the vessels for five years.
"It is difficult to say what is going on in these people's minds," UDP said.
"In Izmail, they are ready to offer Russians only a one-way underwater trip after the infamous cruiser Moskva.
"We are passing the information about the very inquisitive travel agency from Samara to the SBU. We wonder what else they offer and to whom."