The hunt for Russian property in Europe has entered a new stage

The All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company VGTRK confirmed the arrest of its stake in Euronews on the suit of former Yukos shareholders. As Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov emphasized, Russia has begun work on legal measures to protect its property. We need to prepare for the fact that there will be many more such arrests.

This is the second attack on the media in the framework of this case – earlier courts in France, Belgium and Britain arrested the accounts of MIA Russia Today and RT.

Head of the Directorate of International Relations of the All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company Petr Fedorov explained that due to the freezing of assets, the television and radio company would not be able to sell its part, but “we didn’t plan to do this,” Fedorov said and added that this would have no effect on the functioning of the Euronews channel in France will be.

VGTRK, whose news content strictly follows the Kremlin line, bought a part in Euronews in 2001 and at the same time launched a Russian-language version of the channel.

Putin’s speaker Dmitry Peskov told Russian journalists that the Kremlin is aware of the court’s decision and will protect Russian legal interests:

“The Kremlin knows about this. “All necessary measures are being taken and will be taken to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its property.”

Russian assets were blocked in several Western European countries after an arbitration tribunal in The Hague awarded the Russian Federation $ 50 million in compensation to shareholders of the oil giant Yukos. The court ruled that Moscow brought the company into bankruptcy by excessive tax claims, and then sold its assets to state-owned companies.

Russia did not agree with this decision and refused to implement it.

Last summer, the arrest of Russian state assets began as part of the execution of a court decision in The Hague. In early June, provisional measures were imposed by the Belgian authorities. Almost simultaneously in Paris, the building of the FSUE “State Borderland Property” of the Presidential Administration of Russia, where the Rossiya Segodnya MIA rents the premises, was arrested. Agency accounts were also seized in France and Belgium.

October 23, the State Duma passed a law that allows you to take action in response to the arrest of Russian property abroad. It revises the principles of absolute immunity guaranteed to property of foreign states on the territory of Russia. In particular, the court is allowed to limit the jurisdictional immunity of foreign states on the basis of the principle of reciprocity. We are talking about cases where a foreign partner provides Russia with immunity to a more limited extent than the one that the Russian Federation guarantees to him.

Russia has created a command center, which, together with international lawyers, is working to coordinate the protection of state assets in response to claims by former Yukos shareholders in six countries, including France.

This post is also available in: English Русский (Russian)

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