Russian court agrees to release Lithuanian ship on 2.25-million-euro bail

He spoke to the news agency ELTA on the phone from the court in Moscow.

The lawyer says that at the moment it is being discussed whether to appeal the court’s decision because the amount of bail, in his view, is inadequate.

“The bail sum is extremely large. It surpasses both the biggest vessel price and the biggest possible penalty. Presently, we are actively discussing whether to appeal the court’s decision,” he said over the phone.

Odiagailo explained that once the bail was paid, the boat could leave the port of Murmansk, where it was forcefully towed from the Barents Sea, immediately.

As reported, Jūros Vilkas was detained by the Russian coast guard in international waters on 18 September and towed by force to the port of Murmansk. Lithuania claims that Russia thus breached the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Moreover, Russia did not inform Lithuanian institutions about the arrest of the vessel and its crew (3 of 28 of its members are Lithuanian citizens) for four days.

Bail twice the value of ship

The Lithuanian company operating Jūros Vilkas says that the bail of 113 million rubles (EUR 2.25m) is two times higher than the value of the ship, therefore, an appeal has been filed.

Giedrius Gruzdys, CEO of the Arctic Fishing company, said the Russian court is ignoring all international agreements and the fact that the ship was in the territory administered by the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries Commission at the time of the detention in mid-September.

“We are astonished to see that the court calculated the ship’s value without considering its depreciation and rejected the sum specified by independent assessors. The lawyer defending our company’s interests disagrees with the ruling and has filed an appeal. We still do not know the date it will be heard,” Gruzdys said in a press release.

The Russian court should open hearings into the case on 17 October.

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