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Lawmaker proposes state agency on managing risks from foreign lawsuits against Russia

July 23, 2015, 9:22 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Arrest of Russia’s assets with a threat of confiscating them in the framework of the Yukos case may become a precedent

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Konstantin Dobrynin

Konstantin Dobrynin

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. Federation Council’s Committee on Constitutional Legislation and Civil Society Development deputy chairman Konstantin Dobrynin has proposed on Thursday to set up a state agency or appoint a special representative for managing risks of possible lawsuits filed by international creditors against Russia.

The lawmaker sent a proposal to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, noting that "threat of significant damage to Russia as a result of certain actions of Western plaintiffs and foreign law enforcement agencies proves importance" of soonest adoption of appropriate decisions. "Further miscalculations in this sphere can result not only in significant damage, but also to undermining Russia’s financial sovereignty," Dobrynin stressed in his proposal.

Arrest of Russia’s assets with a threat of confiscating them in the framework of the Yukos case may become a precedent, the lawmaker stressed. "After this precedent, many foreign corporations and even state structures of other countries may try to take the same path as former Yukos beneficiaries," he noted.

Dobrynin has urged Medvedev in his letter to analyze "mistakes and blanks that led to a possibility hypothetical for now, but very real in the nearest future of arresting Russian assets abroad in the total volume of more than $50 billion."

Last year the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that former Yukos shareholders are entitled to €1.866 billion in compensation following their complaint against Russia issued in 2011. The ECHR concluded the 2000 inquiry into Yukos’ taxes by Russia’s government violated the European Convention on Human Rights. Russia hence had to present to the European Council a plan on compensation payments to former Yukos shareholders before June 15, however it was not done.

In December 2014 Russia’s Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said "the decisions of the ECHR may not be enforced, it is up to the good will of the European Council member-states."

On July 10, Deputy Justice Minister Georgy Matyushin said further actions on the part of the Russian government on the implementation of the ECHR’s decision regarding the former Yukos shareholders will be carried out in view of Russia’s Constitution legal stance.

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