French court releases impounded ship, Sedov, and fines Swiss firm

The Russian training ship, Sedov, is now on its way to îts home base of Murmansk Keystone

A court in France has ordered the release of the Russian tall ship, Sedov, impounded earlier this month in a dispute between the Russian government and the Swiss trading company, Noga. The court also ordered Noga to pay compensation.

This content was published on July 25, 2000 - 08:02

The court in Brest ruled that the four-master training vessel, Sedov, could set sail immediately and return home to its base, the northern Russian seaport of Murmansk.

The court's verdict comes after the ship was impounded on July 13 following a request by Noga, which claimed the Russian government had not honored an unpaid debt of $63 million.

However, the court found that the owners of the world's biggest sailing ship, the Technical University of Murmansk, could not be held accountable for Russian government debts.

Therefore, the Brest judges ordered Noga to pay $70,000 in damages and interest payments to the Russian university.

However, Noga is now expected to appeal. It has so far argued that the owners of the Sedov are not an autonomous body but are part of the Russian state.

The four-master left the port of Brest shortly after the court's decision.

swissinfo with agencies

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