ST. PETERSBURG, June 18. /TASS/. Claims to Russian assets in Belgium should serve as a reason for political scandals but there's no need to inflate them, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told RBC TV channel on Thursday.
"Any arbitral proceedings and their consequences are not an easy thing. Teams of lawyers are working. I think that it is important now for professionals to work this through and sort this out. There is no need to inflate any political scandals here. It is up for lawyers who are actively working on this now," Dvorkovich said.
The deputy prime minister noted that "there are always risks for the state and for business." "We have learned to work with them, that is why we treat this calmly," he noted.
Russian Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev on Thursday said Moscow completely rules out the possibility of paying compensation under the lawsuit of former Yukos shareholders.
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.
Attempts to use Russian property to enforce the decision have been made by France and Belgium. On Wednesday, Belgium started seizeing Russia's assets in the country. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the seizure of Russia’s property in Belgium needs to be challenged in court. Vladimir Putin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov said the government and lawyers were looking into the matter.