Yukos shareholders refused to fight for the “Orthodox” area in Paris

Former Yukos shareholders renounced all claims to the Russian Federation a plot of land in Paris, where a spiritual and cultural centre, said the head of the International centre for the legal protection (MTSPZ, coordinating foreign litigation on the protection of Russian state assets in the “Yukos case”), Andrey Kondakov Monday the Agency “Interfax”. The lawyers received a notification of the plaintiff, Kondakov said, adding that this guarantees the completion of a cultural object in time” (Russia is planning to inaugurate the center in October 2016). The representative of the holding company GML (represents the interests of the former majority shareholders of Yukos) confirmed that the arrest phase has been revoked.

Yukos shareholders in June 2015, has secured the arrest of the land, where Russia is building an Orthodox Church worth €170 million (estimated media), in the framework of the procedures for the enforcement of the decision of the Hague court of arbitration, awarded in 2014 to the former shareholders $50 billion of compensation for loss of Yukos. Seizure of land for construction of Orthodox shrines in the centre of Paris was “one of the most high-profile cases,” which attracted the active attention of the public and the press,” says Kondakov (for example, in February of the circumstances of the litigation over this object in detail wrote). Cyprus Hulley Enterprises — one of the three plaintiffs — shareholders of Yukos — tried in court to block construction on the site, but French courts have allowed Russia to continue construction of the Orthodox center, despite the arrest, implemented a year ago through police officers, said a representative of the GML.

On April 28 the court of first instance of Paris (Tribunal de Grande Instance, TGI) has rejected the petition of former Yukos shareholders on the suspension of work at the site, confirming that the object is protected sovereign immunity of the Russian Federation. Shareholders said they would not appeal the decision of the Paris court, said the partner of the French law firm De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés Andrea Pinna, representing the interests of Russia.

Given the “changed circumstances”, the plaintiffs decided to withdraw action to recover this object, but without prejudice to its further rights, emphasizes GML. In other words, GML will monitor the use of the land in future years and reserves the right to re-foreclose on the asset if he finds out it is used for commercial purposes (in this case, the court may relieve him of sovereign immunity).

Andrey Kondakov did not exclude that representatives of the former shareholders of Yukos in the near future may refuse other arrests and even go to full review of enforcement proceedings in some other countries, reports “Interfax”. However, the plaintiffs have not withdrawn, no other arrests (except in relation to the Orthodox center) and continue to work on identification and collection of other objects of property of the Russian Federation in France,” says GML.

Plot with an area of 4.7 thousand square meters on the Quai Branly in Paris, the administrative Department of the President of the Russian Federation acquired in 2010 — according to media reports, over €70 million In the vicinity of the Eiffel tower on the banks of the Seine will be erected an Orthodox cross-domed Church — the first since the collapse of the Russian Empire. The Seminary, library, cultural center and the Russian-French school. The complex was projected by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, a construction contractor is the French company Bouygues Batiment. The project is financed from the Federal budget in 2015 has contributed a total of 258 million rubles for reimbursement of expenses Bouygues Batiment (in the 2016 budget appropriations). The cost of the contract with Bouygues amounts to €90.7 million and €27.2 million for 2014, €47.1 million for 2015 and €16.3 million in 2016, followed from the procurement document Manager of the President dated April 29, 2015.

20 April 2016, the Hague regional court reversed the arbitration decision on the payment of $50 billion to Yukos shareholders, but they are preparing in August to appeal against the decision of the district court local appellate court. Even despite the cancellation of the arbitral award of the Dutch national court, the legislation in France allows the shareholders of Yukos to continue the enforcement of the arbitral award and, in particular, to seize assets of the Russian Federation. Previously, GML had reported being able to arrest in France in the framework of the so-called protective measures of the Russian assets by €1 billion.