Court rules to release Russian vessel kept in Australia since February

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruled Monday that the Russian fishing vessel Volga and its crew who have been kept in the Australian port Perth since February 2002, be immediately released. The Russian foreign ministry's information and press department reported about this Monday.

The source also said that the Tribunal had considered the evidence provided by Russia and Australia, and voted 19 against 2 for immediate release of the Russian vessel and its crew.

The tribunal also considerably reduced the bail sum and refused to acknowledge the lawfulness of the Australian authorities' demands non-pursuant to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Russian foreign ministry's spokesmen also noted that it was the first time that the Russian Federation had resorted to this sort of procedure to settle inter-state debates, and succeeded.

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