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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

No Longer in Financial Fight, Baltic Shipping Returns To Sea

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Anna Karenina sailed back into port Monday after its Russian owner, Baltic Shipping Co., regained control over its passenger ferries in a dispute with its Swedish partners.


"All the claims against our ships have been taken off," said Grigory Filimonov, general director of Baltic Shipping.


Filimonov said a court in Helsinki lifted the claims Saturday after Baltic Shipping filed a protest against an earlier bankruptcy claim by the Baltic Express Line, a subsidiary of the Russian firm.


The Swedish partners own 30 percent of Baltic Express. They could not be reached for comment Monday.


The dispute had idled the Anna Karenina in the German port of Kiel and the passenger ferry Ilyich in Stockholm while the claims were sorted out. Now the Ilyich also is set to resume its shuttles between Stockholm and St. Petersburg. A third ferry, the Konstantin Siminov, is in St. Petersburg for scheduled repairs.


The Swedish side contended that Baltic Shipping was refusing to pay creditors, thereby threatening to push Baltic Express off the financial brink.


Filimonov blamed Baltic Express for the debts. "They tried to force their financial problems off on us," he said.


He also blasted Baltic Express Lines manager Toni Schonfelder for submitting the bankruptcy claim one day early, circumventing a planned board meeting.


Swedish board member Anders Lidman earlier defended the bankruptcy claim, attributing the company's losses to Baltic Shipping 's overall financial crisis.