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A Russian ship that had been detained at the Cochin port for two days was released on July 20 by the Kerala High Court after it was informed that the parties' disagreement had been resolved.

After an admiralty suit was filed by an Estonian shore service company, Bunker Partner OU, seeking a decree for a sum of USD 23,503.14 with interest at 0.1 percent per day for the value of bunkers supplied by the Estonian company to the ship, the high court ordered the ship to be detained on July 18.

After a court document was submitted, Justice Sathish Ninan ordered the release of the vessel on July 20, stating that "disputes have since been settled between the parties and that the suit may be dismissed as withdrawn".

"Permission granted. The Admiralty suit is dismissed as withdrawn. The interim order of arrest will stand consequently withdrawn. The vessel is hereby ordered to be released. The Cochin Port Trust shall be intimated accordingly," the court said.

The Russian Embassy in India earlier said that it was aware of the Russian cargo ship detention in the Indian port of Cochin, on board of which a military cargo for the Indian Armed Forces had been delivered.

The embassy officially asked the Indian Ministry of External Affairs for an explanation of the circumstances surrounding the occurrence. Additionally, it asked the government to ensure that the rights of Russian troops and shipowners are always upheld.

The embassy stated that preliminary information indicated that these activities were related to the claim made by the Estonian shore service business Bunker Partner OU, which claimed that the owners of the ship were reportedly in debt.

“We would like to underline that the court allowed the unloading of cargo, since it has nothing to do with the lawsuit. The Russian Consulate General in Chennai is directly in control of this situation," it added.

The Russian ship MV MAIA-I was ordered seized by the Kerala High Court on July 18 as a result of unpaid fuel charges totaling over 1.87 crore ($23,503) to an Estonian corporation. Due to the fact that the ship was transporting weapons to Cochin for the Indian Navy, the court allowed it to unload its cargo while it was being held.

(With agency inputs)

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