- Russian President signed Federal law No. 470-FZ “On specifics of corporate governance in business companies which are economically significant organizations”
On August 4, 2023 the Law was approved by the President. The Law allows to change the shareholding structures of so-called “Russian economically significant entities” whose parent companies are from so-called “unfriendly countries” may be removed from the list of shareholders.
According to the Law, any Russian limited liability company or joint stock company may be considered an economically significant organization if it is included in the Economically Significant Entities list by the Russian government and meets specific criteria.
The matters about the rights of foreign investors fall under the exclusive competence of the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court of the Moscow Region. A federal executive body authorized by the Russian government may apply to the court to remove any direct shareholder, or any member of the Board of directors.Read the news >The Federal law No. 470-FZ “On specifics of corporate governance in business companies which are economically significant organizations”
- Russian state-owned energy group Inter RAO wins damages over Ecuador hydro project
Inter RAO has won US$45 million in an arbitration against the Ecuadorian Electricity Corporation (Celec) over a terminated contract to install components at a hydroelectric power project.
Inter RAO won a contract in 2011 for work on the Toachi Pilaton project located in central Ecuador. The project was scheduled for completion in 2015 but only one of the power plants at Toachi Pilaton is reportedly in operation. The cost of the work to date is understood to be around US$1 billion. Celec terminated the Inter RAO contract in 2016. Inter RAO left the project in 2017 and launched the arbitration against Celec in December 2018.
Inter RAO was claiming US$86 million in the proceeding at the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (CAM Santiago).Read the article >
- Russian companies turn to Hong Kong arbitration and law
Russian companies choose to arbitrate in Hong Kong and also switch from the English governing law in their contracts to Hong Kong law to ensure access to justice. Some experts say that by resolving disputes in a reputable jurisdiction like Hong Kong, companies can ensure their contracts to be enforceable in other parts of the world.
The Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) declined to provide specific statistics on cases handled that involved Russian parties but said the number of those disputes was "consistent" over the past five years.Read the article >
- Belarus proposes to move Eurobond dispute from Moscow to London or Minsk
A private investor Mr. Alexander Marchenkov has filed a claim for USD 300 000 against the Ministry of finance of the Republic of Belarus to redeem the bonds ahead of schedule. The Ministry of finance proposed to move the dispute to the court in Minsk or the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
The international rating agency Moody's has recognized the technical default of Belarus. This was stated in the message dated July 14, 2022 as the deadline for the payment of $22.9 million on Belarus-27 Eurobonds expired a day earlier (July 13). The Ministry of Finance of Belarus made the payment in the national currency due to the refusal of payment agents to cooperate and transact in USD. Therefore, the bondholders were unable to receive payments.
The representative of the Ministry of Finance insisted that Belarus did not refuse payments. The funds have been credited in full to a separate bank account with ASB Belarusbank in accordance with the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of Belarus and the National Bank of Belarus dated April 6, 2022 No. 212/10 "On Temporary Measures for the Fulfillment of External State Debt Obligations". The holders of Eurobonds are entitled to receive payments from the specified account upon an application and a verification by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers and the National Bank of Belarus dated September 26, 2022 No. 643/20 "On Special Transactions with Government Securities".
Another private investor Mr. Sergei Sazonov, a holder of Belarusian Eurobonds, informed that despite having an account with ASB Belarusbank, the Ministry of Finance refused to pay him. A representative of Belarus commented that “The payments of funds to holders of Eurobonds will not be resumed until the completion of all domestic procedures aimed to amend the joint resolution of the government and the National Bank of Belarus”.Read the news >
- RusKhimAlyans files a $472-million lawsuit against UniCredit in Russia
RusKhimAlyans, which is building a gas complex at the Russian Baltic port of Ust-Luga, files a $472-million lawsuit against UniCredit in Russia. It has been reported that last month it filed similar suits against Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank and the hearings were scheduled for September and October 2023.
All three banks were among guarantors for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract signed in 2021 by the German industrial gases company Linde and Turkey's Renaissance Heavy Industries with Gazprom and its partners for the Ust-Luga complex.Read the news >
- Rosneft prepares an investment claim against Germany
Malmendier, a law firm advising Rosneft, has confirmed the Russian state-controlled energy company is preparing an investment arbitration against Germany over the seizure of oil refinery assets. The firm said Rosneft is also preparing to bring claims at the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Malmendier did not provide further details about the investment claim.
In March, a court threw out a case brought by Rosneft against Berlin's move to place its German subsidiaries under trusteeship and take control of the Schwedt refinery in Germany. The decision by the Leipzig-based Federal Administrative Court gives backing to Germany in how it has dealt with the European energy crisis, including the decision to use its energy security law. Under the law, the German government put Rosneft's German unit under the trusteeship of the industry regulator in September, effectively taking a controlling stake in the refinery, PCK Schwedt, which is co-owned by Shell and Eni and supplies 90% of Berlin's fuel.
- Russian airline threatens a treaty claim against Canada
On 14 August 2023, a Russian carrier Volga-Dnepr announced it had sent a notice of dispute to Canada under the Bilateral Investment Treaty concluded between Canada and the Soviet Union (USSR).
Volga-Dnepr said it seeks to resolve a dispute over one of its An-124 cargo aircraft, which has been grounded at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport since February 2022.
The Russian carrier says the plane was conducting a humanitarian flight commissioned by the Canadian government to deliver covid-19 test kits from China. However, after its cargo was unloaded, the plane was forbidden to leave because of a ban on Russian-operated aircraft using Canadian airspace.
Volga-Dnepr says it will initiate arbitration under the BIT if the dispute is not resolved within six months.Read the news >
- Russian court freezes Baker Hughes assets ahead of ICC case
A Russian gas venture has frozen more than $50 million in assets held by a Baker Hughes subsidiary as it prepares to file an ICC claim over a terminated contract. In a judgment on 10 August, the Arbitrazh Court in Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District upheld an application by Yamal LNG to freeze assets held by Baker Hughes Rus Infra LLC.
Yamal told the court it intended to file an ICC arbitration under its contract with the Baker Hughes entity and that preliminary measures were necessary as the US oilfield services group was actively trying to dispose of its Russian assets.
Baker Hughes had previously agreed to provide parts and maintenance services for several Russian natural gas projects. In June last year, the US company withdrew all engineering personnel from Russia and halted all deliveries of equipment to the country. Yamal LNG sent a claim to Baker Hughes in March this year, demanding the return of US$11 million in advance payments for parts not delivered and US$6.6 million for maintenance services it says were never provided.
Yamal LNG is seeking the return of the advance payments, as well as US$31 million in compensation.Read the news >
- The Arbitration Centre at the RSPP says it is not affected by US sanctions
The US Treasury Department has added the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) to its sanctions list on the basis of its activities in the technology sector.
On 22 August 2023, the Arbitration Centre at the RSPP issued a statement saying that RSPP is a different legal entity from the Arbitration Centre. The Arbitration Centre concluded that the sanctions placed on the RSPP association of employers do not apply to the Arbitration Centre and will not affect the administration of any cases, including international disputes.Read the news >
- Recent developments in arbitration will make Armenia more attractive for business
On 4 September 2023, at the Inaugural Armenia International Arbitration Conference, Mr. Mher Grigoryan, the Armenian Deputy Prime Minister, said that development of the arbitration system will make Armenia more attractive for business. "The Armenian government attaches importance to the development of alternative dispute resolution methods and their use and distribution in our country. It is documented both practically and scientifically that the established arbitration culture and activities contribute to the improvement of the investment environment, help to reduce the workload of the courts" he said.Read the news >
- Rosbank filed a claim against Nordea Bank in Russian court
On 25 August 2023, Rosbank has filed a claim to the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court of Moscow City for more than RUB 11.7 billion against the Finnish bank Nordea Bank ABP.
Earlier, on 14 August 2023, the Arbitrazh (Commercial) Court of Moscow rejected Rosbank’s application to freeze the property of the Finnish bank Nordea Bank ABP and its Russian subsidiary Westcon in the amount of €14.3 million (more than RUB 1.5 billion at the current exchange rate).