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Federation Council orders probe into operation of foreign consultancies in Russia

February 04, 2015, 13:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"Foreign contractors have been able to create vast databases containing full information about the economic and other potential of our strategically important companies," FC member Yevgeny Tarlo said
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Fadeichev

MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. Russia’s Federation Council (FC) has instructed two committees — on defense and security and on constitutional legislation and statehood — to look into the operation of foreign legal companies and consultancies in Russia and the feasibility of giving them access to data about state companies and defense and strategically important enterprises. The probe was proposed by FC member Yevgeny Tarlo.

He said that since 1991, "all major companies, including public ones, and also bodies of power have been using the services of the largest Western auditing companies, and also legal firms and consultancies."

"As a result, the foreign contractors have been able to create vast databases containing full information about the economic and other potential of our strategically important companies, including public and defense ones," the legislator said.

As an example, Tarlo mentioned the affair involving the company that was providing services to the Ministry of Finance. That company surprisingly recognized the jurisdiction of a court of arbitration in the Netherlands over a purely internal lawsuit filed by Yukos shareholders.

"As a result, the case was lost and the court ordered Russia should pay $50 billion to Yukos shareholders," Tarlo recalled. He suggested instructing two committees of the upper house "to look into the operation of foreign legal consultancies and auditing companies in Russia and the feasibility of letting them have access to data concerning public, defense and strategically important companies, as well as the expediency and legality of Russian bodies of state power using their services, and the observance of Russia’s interests, and state, military and economic secrets."

FC Speaker Valentina Matviyenko supported the proposal.

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