MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. The decision of the Hague Court of Appeal obliging Russia to pay $50 bln to former shareholders of Yukos does not automatically mean launching the seizure of Russia’s assets abroad, head of the International Center for Legal Protection Andrey Kondakov told TASS. The center represents Russia’s interests in the case of Yukos in foreign courts.
"This [decision] does not mean automatic seizure [of assets] around the world. To do this, you must at least first apply to the courts of those countries for recognition and enforcement of the arbitral award," he explained.
However, he recalled that France and Belgium are exceptions because earlier the authorities of those countries almost immediately allowed to seize Russian assets following the decision of a foreign arbitration court, bypassing coordination with national courts.
"There were gaps in the legislation. But thanks to what happened in 2015, additional legislative norms were adopted that no longer automatically seize assets before national courts take appropriate decisions," Kondakov explained.
In the US and UK, where a foreign court’s decision should be first recognized by a local court, consideration of applications from former Yukos shareholders was temporarily frozen, he noted.
"We hope there will not be any automatic seizures of property. In the course of 'the Yukos saga' we hired professional law firms in 11 jurisdictions [countries — TASS] so we have tools to react quickly in any country where some kind of action starts on behalf of the majority of Yukos shareholders," Kondakov stated.
Earlier on Tuesday The Hague Court of Appeal reinstated an order of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which in 2014 ordered Russia to pay $50 bln to the companies associated with former Yukos shareholders.
Russia’s Justice Ministry vowed it would appeal against the court’s decision.