Yukos shareholders have responded to the new accusations of Russia in their address


“New” or “newly discovered” evidence of fraud “oligarchs” Yukos in the privatization and subsequent ownership of the company, which Russia has presented a U.S. court last month, are not new and irrelevant, told the court on July 11, the lawyers Shearman & Sterling, representing the interests of former Yukos shareholders. According to them, more than 90% of the documents that the Russian defense was positioned as “new” evidence or materials that do not add anything new; many of these years were at the hands of the Russian lawyers. Relieving the judge of unnecessary materials incorrectly, since judges — “not a pig looking for truffles.”

Lawyers White & Case protecting the Russian Federation, in early June sued the district of Columbia, USA, petition for non-recognition of the decision of the Hague arbitration Tribunal from 2014, awarded former Yukos shareholders $50 billion compensation. The main emphasis was placed on the fact that six of the Russian “oligarchs” (Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev, Leonid Nevzlin, Vladimir Dubov, Mikhail Brudno, Vasily Shakhnovsky) hired state managers of Yukos, to ensure the transition of the company into the right hands. The bribe itself was allegedly transferred in 2002-2003, their size could be up to $2 billion, and among the recipients were two acting deputies of the state Duma.

Lawyers Shearman & Sterling counted 135 documents, which Russia reinforces its updated petition. According to their analysis, about one hundred of them were considered in the course of the arbitral proceedings in the Hague or the Russian courts in the criminal prosecution of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev in 2003-2010, the rest are newspaper articles, copies of treaties, foreign conventions, foreign judgments, etc. Of the remaining ten documents, claiming the novelty, none is significant, say the representatives of the former shareholders. Among them — the entry of Khodorkovsky in Facebook 26 March 2016, the value of which for court of the Russian defense never explained, and translated into English column of the former lawyer of Yukos Dmitry Gololobova from March 28, the source of which Russia did not disclose (the original was published on the website).

More than half of the 135 applications for the us court submitted to Russia without explanation, why they are needed, and some Russian defense generally does not refer in its application is “illustrates their insignificance,” say the lawyers Shearman & Sterling. Meanwhile, “reset” on judges ‘ documents without explanation of their significance is incorrect, they emphasize and refer to the precedent opinion of the American court introduced in the case United States V. Dunkel 1991: “Judges is not a pig looking for truffles buried in a case file.”

Former Yukos shareholders believe that the court should dismiss the claims of Russia, because it is based on “false” statements about the alleged new evidence. The dossiers dealt with by the judge, for more than 70 thousand pages, and none of the “new” version of the Russian protection, the evidence does not add anything substantial to the already huge list, said in a 20-page response Shearman & Sterling. Instead, the shareholders Hulley Enterprises, Yukos Universal and Veteran Petroleum is asking the court to suspend the process of considering their petition on the recognition and enforcement of the Hague arbitration award in the United States, until the Dutch courts will not take a final decision on compensation by $50 billion. 20 APR 2016 district court of the Hague overturned the arbitration award on payment of $50 billion to shareholders of Yukos, but they are preparing to appeal the district court decision in the local court of appeal and hope for success. Russia is beneficial to the U.S. Supreme court immediately ruled in her favor based on the verdict of the district court of the Hague.

Most of the evidence presented by Russia, are new or re-opened and for the first time gathered together, despite the efforts of the plaintiffs in the concealment of evidence, disputes partner at White & Case in Washington, Carolyn Lamm, who heads Russia’s protection in the United States. Former Yukos shareholders do not dispute the facts as presented on the merits, but only insist that Russia is too later they said Lamm wrote email. In the end, their complaints won’t matter for the American court, she said: no matter how “new” is each specific document, the court will assess the evidence on the principle of de novo (from the beginning).

The arguments for Washington

In this month’s Russian lawyers sued Washington, several materials, designed to persuade the judge to side with the Russian Federation. For example, in a diplomatic note dated June 30, on behalf of the Russian Embassy in the U.S. says that if the U.S. Supreme court will not reject the claim of shareholders of Yukos and for the next several years “will leave unresolved the question of sovereign immunity of the Russian Federation, it violates the principle of sovereign equality of States and state immunity. Russian diplomats pay attention to the fact that the former shareholders of Yukos have arrested the assets of the Russian Federation more than €1 billion in Belgium and in France, including cash accounts of Russian diplomatic missions to NATO and the EU, as well as “countless” other units of ownership associated with the embassies, offices, works and services of the Protocol. Even after the April decision of the district court of the Hague, Hulley Enterprises, Yukos Universal and Veteran Petroleum refused to voluntarily recall the arrests of the Russian property in France and Belgium and continue to force Russia to expend resources to protect their property and sovereign immunity worldwide, said in a note.

And the head of the International centre for the legal protection (MTSPZ) coordinating the protection of Russia from the claims of Yukos shareholders in various jurisdictions, Andrey Kondakov July 1, filed in the U.S. Supreme court its expert opinion, according to which compensation of $50 billion awarded by the Hague court of arbitration, is “a substantial contingent” of the Russian Federation, which limits the sovereign credit rating and make international borrowing more expensive Russia. This contingent liability is more than 20% of the projected Federal spending in 2016, or almost 25% of projected revenues. Russia is financing the budget deficit through annual placements of sovereign bonds, he writes, and if the contingent of Russia’s obligations under the “Yukos affair” continues, the inevitable increase in interest rates for Russia could hurt its economy more damage.

What property of Russia arrested in the “case of Yukos”

In July 2014, the international court of arbitration in the Hague ruled in favor of former Yukos shareholders. Russia is obliged to 15 January 2015 to pay them $50 billion In connection with Russia’s refusal to execute the decision of arbitration from June 2015 preliminary (“guarding”) the arrest of Russian state property abroad. In particular, processes for the enforcement of the award was launched in six countries — Belgium, France, UK, Germany, USA and India. In France and Belgium the local law allowed the shareholders to immediately arrest the Russian assets. However, to take them and sell at public auction it is impossible to deal with all appeals in the local courts.

France

From June 2015, the shareholders of Yukos has made more than 150 decisions on the seizure of assets of the Russian Federation, reported in November, the French partner of the law firm De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés Andrea Pinna, representing the interests of Russia. As follows from Russia, submitted to the court, numerous cases of arrests of property of the Russian Federation and the Russian state-owned enterprises are treated in the courts of French cities Bobigny, Evry, Lyon, Nanterre, Nantes, Paris, Saint-Nazaire, Toulouse and Versailles.

It is known that by April 2016 in France, the officers on behalf of shareholders of Yukos has arrested more than 120 Russian state assets worth €1 billion, including payments of hundreds of millions from the French counterparty in favor of the Roscosmos and FSUE “Space communications”, land in Paris for the construction of Orthodox religious and cultural center, the Bank account of MIA “Russia today”, the stake of the Russian government TV channel Euronews. These assets remain frozen. On 22 April, the representative of Yukos shareholders in France informed Russia that the arrests of state assets in this country can continue despite the decision of the Hague district court.

Belgium

In Belgium in the list of seized property hit the accounts of Russian diplomatic missions, including the Russian mission to NATO and the European Union. Action to recover property related to the Archbishopric of Brussels and Belgium of the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as offices of non-governmental organizations and the media. In addition, in February this year, the Belgian authorities had to proceed to the inventory of the immovable property belonging FGUP “Goszagransobstvennost’ and used MIA “Russia today”, but then the procedure was blocked by the Belgian foreign Ministry. May 17, 2016, the Belgian representative of Yukos shareholders refused to voluntarily withdraw action to recover the Russian property in Belgium.