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Kremlin refuses to comment on Belgian claims to Russian assets in Yukos case

June 18, 2015, 13:34 UTC+3 ST.PETERSBURG
The relevant department of the Russian government as well as the lawyers are now looking into the matter
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Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov

© Sergey Fadeichev/TASS

ST.PETERSBURG, June 18. /TASS/. The Kremlin doesn’t comment on Belgium’s claims to Russian assets in the Yukos case. The lawyers and the government are looking into the matter, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"The relevant department of the Russian government as well as the lawyers are now looking into the matter, so I wouldn’t like to comment on the issue," the Kremlin spokesman said. "We still need to clarify some details to make a complete picture." Of course, we are carefully studying the circumstances of this lawsuit."

The Russian presidential spokesman believes this lawsuit is unrelated to the beginning of the St.Petersburg International Economic Forum where the investment climate in Russia is discussed. "It has nothing to do with the investment climate in Russia. The composition of the participants in the forum attests to the fact that this climate is of considerable interest to the business community," Peskov said.

In 2014, The Hague Arbitral Tribunal ruled that Russia should pay almost $50 billion to the companies affiliated with the former Yukos shareholders -Hulley Enterprises Limited (Cyprus), Veteran Petroleum (Cyprus) and Yukos Universal Limited (Isle of Man). The court ruled that Russia’s actions against Yukos could be regarded as expropriation of investments in breach of Article 45 of the Energy Charter which Russia had signed in the 1990 but never ratified.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed disagreement with the court’s ruling. The Russian Finance Ministry said in a statement that Yukos had not been subject to discrimination and that the actions of the government bodies were not politically-motivated. In addition to that, the Hague Arbitration Court had no jurisdiction to pass such a decision.

The attempts to use Russian property to enforce the decision have been made by France and Belgium.

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