Russian energy company Sakhalin has filed a lawsuit against Denmark’s Svitzer, a subsidiary of shipping and oil group AP Moller-Maersk, in a Russian court over the termination of a chartering contract. Last month, the Sakhalin court ordered the seizure of four Svitzer tugboats at the request of Sakhalin Energy. Maersk had announced its decision to withdraw fully from Russia in March 2022 and has initiated a divestment process for its towing operations, including Svitzer’s four tugs in Sakhalin. The court required the lawsuit to be filed to make the seizure of the tugboats conditional. Maersk did not immediately comment on this issue.
The world’s largest operator of tugboats, Svitzer has also requested the removal of the boats from Russian waters and re-flagging. The preliminary hearing was set on June 16, and both parties are expected to present evidence at the hearing. Sakhalin is seeking compensation for the losses it has incurred due to the termination of the contract and the alleged damages caused to the company. The outcome of the case may affect Svitzer’s operations in Russia as well as Maersk’s decision to withdraw from the country.