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Belgium unblocks part of Russian diplomatic missions’ frozen accounts - foreign ministry

June 20, 2015, 22:46 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
The others will be unblocked on Monday
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© EPA/TOUSSAINT KLUITERS

BRUSSELS, June 20. /TASS/. Belgium has unblocked part of the frozen accounts of Russian diplomatic missions at the ING bank while the others will be unblocked on Monday, June 22, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders told reporters on Saturday.

Reynders has said that the accounts at the ING bank have been unblocked; the others will be unblocked on Monday.

On Thursday, Belgium’s ambassador in Moscow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry to hear a protest over the freeze of bank accounts of the Russian embassy to Belgium, as well as the country’s missions to the European Union and NATO in Brussels. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow might consider proportionate measures against Belgian properties in Russia, including assets of the Belgian embassy.

The attempts to use Russian property

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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