Sri Lanka Court Released Detained Russian Plane

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Commercial Court was set to rule today on the detention of an Aeroflot aircraft in Colombo but

Sri Lanka releases plane

Sri Lanka released a seized Russian Aeroflot plane to continue on to Moscow as initially planned following a court dispute with Ireland over EU sanctions. Photo: Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s Colombo Commercial Court was set to rule today on the detention of an Aeroflot aircraft in Colombo but did so on June 6.

The Aeroflot A330 was grounded in Colombo following an injunction filed by Celestial Aviation Trading 10 Limited of Ireland, the owner of the aircraft who had leased it to the Russian flag carrier. The Court ruled on June 6 to allow the flight to continue on to Moscow as initially planned.

The Court’s order followed a lease dispute between both parties, with Celestial Aviation seeking confiscation of the aircraft in line with EU sanctions following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Aeroflot has since suspended all flights to and from Sri Lanka beginning on June 4. The Sri Lankan government stressed in multiple statements that the dispute was not between Colombo and Moscow, but rather between private parties.

The Russian Foreign Ministry had warned that the aircraft’s grounding could hurt bilateral relations. This is unlikely to occur as the plane has now been returned to Moscow. As aircraft leasing companies continue to seize assets leased to Russian companies, expect a similar pattern of disputes between Russia and other nations in the coming months.

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