• Contribution by TV&P to The International Energy Law Review

    The International Energy Law Review (UK) publishes the article by TV&P lawyers dedicated to the legal analysis of the sanctions limiting energy cooperation with the Russian Federation that have been introduced by the EU and US during the Ukrainian crisis. The authors address the issues arising from the said legislative and case-law confrontation between the countries as well as the prospects of its resolution. The International Energy Law Review is an academic journal dedicated to the publication of articles analysing the legal developments within the energy sector of different countries. >>>

  • Russian businessman Ural Rakhimov supposes that the claim asserted by AFK Sistema seeking 70.7 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) in damages over Bashneft oil company is ungrounded

    As of December 26, the oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Sistema has filed an action against Ural Invest, a company associated with Ural Rakhimov. It seeks compensation from Bashneft’s previous owners for the damages it allegedly incurred due to the confiscation of its stake in the oil company. The action was brought to Moscow Arbitration court after the court’s decision to restore state ownership in Bashneft shares entered into force. “We consider the claim to be ungrounded,” Rakhimov’s lawyer Sergei Makarenko said. Besides, he added that the commercial court’s decision has no prejudicial force for Ural Invest, which was not party to the Bashneft action. The lawyer said that due to the fact that Sistema did not file action against Bashneft, it cannot refer to the court’s ruling on the return of the Bashneft stake to the government as laid out in its claim. Makarenko also said that the Ural Invest accounts that were seized in October 2014 are still under arrest. Sistema acquired 71 percent of Bashneft shares from Ural Invest, a group of companies associated with Ural Rakhimov. The government of the Bashkortostan region controlled Bashneft until 2003. Afterwards companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov, acquired a major stake in Bashneft. privatized in 2009 by Sistema. Rakhimov and Sitema CEO billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov were implicated in the sale of Bashneft stock in 2009. Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering and placed on the international wanted list. In late October, the Moscow Arbitration court decided that the Bashneft stock should be returned to the government because the privatization deals that let to the company becoming the property of Ural Rakhimov were effected in violation of the law. The defendants in the case were Yevtushenkov’s Sistema, its subsidiary Sistema Invest and Bashneft. >>>

  • Russian President signed a bill on personal bankruptcy which enacts rehabilitation procedures for debtors

    An individual himself/herself may file for bankruptcy, or a creditor, or an authorized body may petition for him/her to be declared bankrupt. It is mandatory to introduce the procedure for restructuring an individual’s debt if a court recognizes the application for declaring an individual bankrupt as justified. The court imposes the procedure for disposing of an individual’s property if such an individual has been declared bankrupt (for example, if the plan for restructuring the individual’s debt was not submitted within the prescribed period or it was not approved by the creditor’s meeting). The court may also temporarily restrict the right of the bankrupt individual to leave the Russian Federation. Further to a creditor’s application, a lawsuit concerning bankruptcy of an individual may be initiated if the following three conditions are met at the same time: - the claimed amount is no less that RUB 500 000 and it has been in arrears for three months; - as a general rule, a claim must be supported by a court decision, unless such claim (i) is based on loan agreements or notarized transactions, (ii) is confirmed by a notary’s writ, or (iii) the individual acknowledges such claim but does not repay the relevant amount; - the creditor has deposited with the court an amount to be paid as a compensation to the financial manager (RUB 10 000). The claims raised by the creditors of the individual who has been held bankrupt are satisfied out of the debtor’s entire property, including his share in common property, except for the property on which execution can not be levied pursuant to the civil legislation. Creditors’ claims that are not satisfied due to a shortage of auctioned assets would be considered redeemed. Upon the end of settlements with creditors, bankrupt individuals would be released from any subsequent liability except for a number of instances. For example, if it has been proved that the individual acted unlawfully when the obligation arose or was performed. Such unlawful acts include committing a fraud or actions aimed at fraudulently evading the settlement of amounts the individual owes to creditors, or concealing or intentionally destroying property. The law foresees certain implications of recovery procedures being implemented in relation to an individual debtor: - while the plan for restructuring is being implemented and within five years after this plan has been implemented an individual may not conceal that he or she implemented the plan. - within five years after an individual is held bankrupt he or she may not assume any obligations in relation to facility and/or loan agreements without specifying that he or she was a bankrupt. - a bankrupt individual may not for three years after the date when he/she is held bankrupt hold positions in the management bodies of a legal entity or take part in managing a legal entity in any other way. >>>

  • The Russian government’s legislative commission has endorsed a bill to ban the signing of state contracts with offshore companies

    Pursuant to the commission’s statement the aim of the bill is to support Russian producers and to stimulate import substitution. The bill bans the signing of state contracts with companies that are registered in the countries and jurisdictions that are on the list of offshore areas. Besides, under the bill the legislative commission is obliged to examine that the applicants for such contracts comply with these requirements and to refuse them if they don’t. In December 2013, President Vladimir Putin in his annual address to the Federal Assembly called for a crackdown on Russian companies that dodge taxes by registering in offshore jurisdictions. >>>

  • Russia’s oil producer OJSC Lukoil won the dismissal of a long-running action

    The company was accused of being engaged in an illegal scheme which resulted in bankruptcy of Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC), a Canadian diamond development company. The action dates back to 2001 when it was filed in Colorado state court. For a number of years it was transferred from one court to another when it was informally stayed until early 2009, pending settlement efforts. In June 2009, ADC was held bankrupt. In November 2009, ADC inserted amendments into its complaint adding RICO and other claims. At this point the Archangel Diamond Corporation Liquidation Trust, which is the successor to the assets of ADC, pursues the action. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado took a decision by which dismissed the suit on December 18 due to lack of personal jurisdiction over OJSC Lukoil and based on the doctrine of forum non conveniens. In the ruling it is stated that “the Court finds that Lukoil has proved that the Russian courts are an adequate alternative forum, in light of Lukoil’s voluntary consent to the jurisdiction of such courts and forbearance in raising the statute of limitations as a defense in that forum”. The dispute took place in connection with an agreement ADC concluded with Arkhangelgeology (AGE), a Russian state corporation, to form a joint venture with the aim to finance exploration and development of diamond fields in Russia. AGE was privatized in December 1995 and became known as AGD. In 1996, AGD won the Diamond License and in 1996 opened a diamond pipe worth billions. ADC states that after OJSC LUKOIL took over AGD, the Russian company initiated an illegal scheme to exclude ADC out of the joint venture and diamond mining operation. “After obtaining as much investment as it could”, LUKOIL intended to “bleed ADC into bankruptcy and to cause it to lose its contractual rights and investment” . The claimant states that “as a result of this Illegal Scheme, ADC was forced into bankruptcy in 2010, and lost the value of its over $30 million investment as well as over $400 million in profits which it would earn through its 40% share of the joint venture, plus up to $800 million in lost profits which may be received by other diamond pipes potentially located within the scope of the Diamond License”. >>>

  • Five major Russian state-owned companies engaged in export operations will be required to sell foreign currency in the next two months

    The government has reportedly asked Gazprom, Rosneft, Alrosa, Zarubezhneft, Kristall Production Corporation, their subsidiaries to reduce by March 1, 2015, their foreign currency reserves and to adhere a level fixed on October 1. This is to be done pursuant to a schedule set by the Central Bank and shall feed about $1 billion into the market every day. The companies on the list would have to sell nearly all their foreign currency revenues received after October 1. This would amount to approximately $40-$50 billion, most of it to be sold by Gazprom and Rosneft. Earlier Russian President said that the Central Bank and the government wouldn’t require exporters to sell foreign currency. Despite that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev reportedly signed an executive order on December 17, which prescribes the companies to sell foreign currency. Representatives of the five companies have refused to discuss this initiative. The measure comes on the heels of the recent ruble collapse, where the national currency exchange rate dropped 20% overnight after the Central Bank increased the rate to 17,5%. Over the past week the ruble regained some of the lost position. Still it is trading considerably lower. The national currency’s fall is connected with a number of economic sanctions imposed over the Ukrainian situation and the rapid drop in oil prices, which happened after OPEC members decided not to low production to halt the price drop. >>>

  • AFK Sistema holding company has asserted a claim to Moscow Arbitration court asking damages about 70.7 billion rubles for forfeiture of Bashneft shares

    Ural-Invest controlled by former Bashneft CEO Ural Rakhimov is specified as a defendant in the action. The government of the Bashkortostan region controlled Bashneft until 2003. Afterwards companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov, acquired a major stake in Bashneft. The company was privatized in 2009 when Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate AFK Sistema acquired control of it. A court in Moscow ruled that privatization of Bashneft was effected in violation of law. The Prosecutor General’s Office brought an action to return 71.6 percent stake in Bashneft back to the government. On October 30, 2014 the Moscow Arbitration court satisfied the claim of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Rakhimov and billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov were implicated in the sale of Bashneft stock in 2009. Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering, put on the international wanted list. Yevtushenkov, the Sistema board chairman, was placed under house arrest as well. On December 17, Yevtushenkov was released after he pledged to appear before a court if he is summoned. >>>

  • The State Duma adopted a bill enlarging deposit insurance from 700,000 to 1.4 million rubles

    The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, has adopted in the second and third readings a bill enlarging deposit insurance from 700,000 to 1.4 million rubles. Respective amendments have been inserted to the law on insuring private individuals’ deposits with banks in Russia and to the law on the Central Bank of Russia. Earlier the lower house passed in the final readings several amendments aimed at stabilizing the Russian banking system. Pursuant to them, up to 10 percent of the National Wealth Fund can be invested in the deposits or securities of banks with capital not less than 100 billion rubles ($1.7bln). The national Deposit Insurance Agency will be allocated about 1 trillion rubles ($16.8bln) for increasing the authorized capital of strategic banks. The Finance Ministry supposes this will be enough to boost the capital of the national banking sector by 13 percent. Funds will be primarily provided to strategic banks. Earlier Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, reported an outflow of funds from deposits made by individuals due to the rapid depreciation of the ruble. On Friday, Sberbank announced that this trend has receded. >>>

  • Russia may accept the decision of the ECHR ordering it to pay damages about 1.9 billion euros to Yukos shareholders

    Russia according to Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov may accept the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering it to pay damages about 1.9 billion euros to Yukos shareholders. “The judges rendered a judgment. We have to take it into consideration. We believe that it is ungrounded, but there is nothing we can do,” Konovalov said. At the same time he stressed that the decisions of the ECHR are not binding. “It depends on the goodwill of a Council of Europe member state,” Konovalov said. Still he added that implementation of the decisions of the ECHR are examined by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The ECHR rendered the judgment on July 31. Russia filed a request asking to refer the case to the Grand Chamber which was rejected on Tuesday. After the ECHR announced that the judgment had become final, Russian Ministry of Justice made a statement in which pointed out that it would act taking into consideration “the necessity to protect Russia’s sovereign interests” based on Russian law. Meanwhile, Valery Zorkin, the chairman of Russia’s Constitutional Court, said earlier that Russia was not obliged to ensure implementation of ECHR judgments in case they are inconsistent with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Besides, he added that ruling in the Yukos case may be submitted for consideration to the Constitutional Court. Russian courts were conferred the right to bring complaints over implementation of the ECHR judgments to the Constitutional Court in the aftermath of the Markin case, according to Zorkin. Markin, a divorced father of three children, applied to the ECHR after Russian military court denied him a parental leave. The ECHR decided in October 2010 that Markin’s rights had been infringed. The ruling became final in March 2012. >>>

  • OJSC Bahsneft and OJSC LUKOIL contested the Moscow Arbitration court ruling which revoked the license for the Trebs and Titov oil fields held by their joint venture “Bashneft-Polus” (Case No. А40-103629/2014).

    The transfer of the Trebs and Titov license to “Bashneft-Polus” was challenged earlier by shareholder Railya Inozemtseva who owns 10 shares of Bashneft. Inozemtseva claimed that there were no sufficient reasons for the transfer of licence to Bashneft-Polus as it was in violation of the tender. The claim also contained calculation of profit loss that would allegedly result from the license transfer. In the appeal, Bashneft argued that the plaintiff failed to produce any proof that her rights were violated in any way, and that she used hearsay evidence. According to Bahsneft the transition of license will not affect payment of dividend, and that the plaintiff was abusing the right of a shareholder after filing a lawsuit while owning only 10 company shares. Bashneft was granted the license to Trebs and Titov in 2011 and soon signed a contract with LUKOIL on establishing a joint venture to develop the oil fields. The license was transferred to Bashneft-Polus (25.1% owned by LUKOIL and 74.9% owned by Bashneft) on December 14, 2011. Meanwhile, Federal Agency for Subsoil Use (Rosnedra) cancelled the transfer on May 18, 2012 because the joint venture had no oil processing facilities. Bashneft-Polus, after a long dispute, returned the development license in late May. Rosnedra is a Russian federal government body, which manages the state property in the field of use of subsoil. In particular, it issues subsoil licences, controls performance of licence holders and compliance with the terms of licences and terminates rights to use subsoil. Rosnedra functions are stipulated in The Regulations On The Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency approved by Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation # 293, dated June 17, 2004 (with amendments). >>>

  • ECHR rejected the request of the Russian Federation to direct the Yukos case to the Grand Chamber

    That means that the judgment rendered on July 31, 2014 ordering Russia to pay Yukos shareholders about 1,9 billion euros becomes final. Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation expressed extreme disagreement with the court’s decision. The ruling in question concerns the tax and enforcement proceedings initiated in 2004 against the Russian oil company Yukos, which resulted in its liquidation in 2007. >>>

  • The Moscow City Court pursuant to the piracy law has blocked access to 13 websites which distribute the pirated copies of The Sopranos series

    The court has also blocked access to Rome, Reign and Love Child which were distributed on the Internet without permission of the right holder. The ruling was handed down as an injunction. The interested parties have 15 days in order to appeal it. In its turn A.Serial, the company that holds the exclusive distribution right to the series, in turn, also has 15 days in order to file a motion to block the distribution of the pirated series versions. >>>

  • Russian President has signed the bill extending the reach of anti-piracy legislation to music, books and software

    An anti-piracy law entered into force in the Russian Federation on August 1, 2013. It foresees legal grounds and procedure for limiting access to websites that distribute movies and television shows in violation of copyright. At present the law requires websites to remove pirated content. If they fail to do this by the deadline, the telecom regulator would block access to the site. >>>

  • The Federal Chamber of Lawyers advocates for introducing an exam to check would-be lawyers for professional integrity and proficiency

    The Federal Chamber of Lawyers of Russia is planning to submit by December to the Ministry of Justice a bill which stipulated professional licensing rules for lawyers. That information was provided by First Vice-President of the chamber Yury Pilipenko to the journalists on Monday. Yury Pilipenko insists on clear regulation of the requirements for becoming a lawyer in Russia. >>>

  • The law substantially restricting foreign control over the media has been signed by the Russian President and published

    Previously, foreign entities could possess on the right of ownership up to half of any media asset in Russia. Under that law foreign ownership of media assets would be limited up to 20%. The new law also foresees that foreign citizens, stateless individuals and Russian dual citizens may not be founders of the media, The made amendments would affect 30 media entities presently operating in Russia, including Forbes and Russian business dailies Kommersant and Vedomosti. >>>

  • The ex-wife of Arkady Rotenberg challenged the validity of their prenuptial agreement

    The ex-wife of Arkady Rotenberg, who is widely viewed as one of Russia’s most influential businessmen, challenged the validity of their prenuptial agreement in Moscow’s Tushinsky District Court, and may be entitled to a substantial portion of the businessman’s wealth, his lawyer Philipp Ryabchenko said on Friday. >>>

  • Russian Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals approves dismissal of Bank of Cyprus unjust enrichment case

    Russia’s Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Novosibirsk company Algeba seeking 380 mln rubles (approx. $12.1 mln) in compensation from the Bank of Cyprus based on allegations of unjust enrichment. >>>

  • Moscow City Court blocks access to film under new anti-piracy law

    The Moscow City Court has granted a request filed by The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) to block access to a film stored on Rutor.org file-sharing website. >>>

  • Investbank won €11.1 mln case against Latvian Air Baltic Corporation

    The Moscow Commercial Court handed down a judgment Friday in favor of Russian Investbank in its €11.1 mln claim against Latvian Air Baltic Corporation (airBaltic). >>>

  • Russian billionaire sued by former wife over $20 million Hawaii property

    Elena Rybolovleva has sued her estranged husband, Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, in Hawaii over allegations that he had used a “sham” company to purchase a $20 mln Kauai property in contravention of a freeze order issued by the Supreme Court of Switzerland. >>>

  • 52 convicts released under economic crime amnesty in Russia

    52 convicts have already been released from Russian colonies in accordance with the recently passed economic crime amnesty. >>>

  • Lebedev won $10 million case in aircraft dispute with General Electric subsidiaries

    A company within NRC group controlled by Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev won a $10 mln victory against General Electric (GE) subsidiaries in London’s High Court Wednesday over a deal involving seven Airbus A320 planes. The presiding judge concluded that GE subsidiaries conspired to cause loss by unlawful means to Lebedev’s companies. >>>

  • A court in St. Petersburg fined McDonald’s 100k rubles for breaking sanitary standards

    A court in St. Petersburg has granted the claim filed by Russia’s sanitation and consumers rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, and fined McDonald’s 100k rubles (approx. $3k) for breaking sanitary standards. >>>

  • The courts of Moscow and Moscow region have fined Russia’s postal service Pochta Rossii

    The courts of Moscow and Moscow region have fined Russia’s postal service Pochta Rossii 360k rubles (approx. $11k) for violating mail delivery terms. >>>

  • Dismissal of Yandex’s copyright lawsuit over Punto Switcher upheld

    The Seventeenth Commercial Court of Appeals, which is located in Perm, has upheld a previous ruling to reject a lawsuit filed by Yandex that sought to prevent businessman Yevgeny Balabanov from distributing the Punto Switcher app owned by the company. >>>

  • Aeroflot ordered to compensate flight teams more than $30 million

    The Moscow City court ordered the Russian air carrier Aeroflot to pay more than a bln rubles (approx. $30 mln) to its flight teams for 2011-12 graveyard shifts, a Sheremetyevo Airport union. >>>

  • Mother turns to Hague Convention to compel return of sons from Russia

    The holiday debacle arose out of an ongoing custody battle in the courts of England and Wales, but a solution to the dispute could lie in the 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children (Convention), which entered into force in Russia on June 1 of this year. >>>

  • Legislators restore ’defamation’ article in Criminal Code

    The Constitutional Court ruled that website owners must delete defamatory information in accordance with court rulings. >>>

  • BTA Bank`s 254.7 mln euro debt claim rejected

    The Federal Commercial Court of the Moscow District has upheld a previous ruling to reject Kazakhstan-based BTA Bank’s claim to recover 254.7 mln euros from Megagroup under a guarantee agreement. >>>

  • Collection of $15mln of additional taxes from Russian Authors Society suspended

    The Supreme Commercial Court has suspended the collection of over 500 mln rubles (approx. $15 mln) of additional taxes, fines and penalties from the Russian Authors Society (RAO) at its request until the end of the review proceedings. >>>

  • Russian Railways sue the state for $233 mln

    The Moscow Commercial Court on June 21, 2013 granted the lawsuit filed by Russian Railways for collecting 7.03 bln rubles (approx. $215 mln) from the Finance Ministry for the transportation of benefit recipients in 2009. >>>

  • Intellectual Property Court to start working on July 1

    The Intellectual Property Court (IPC) will start working on July 1, the plenary meeting of the Supreme Commercial Court said in a draft resolution published on its website. >>>

  • The Moscow Commercial Court ruling in favor of the 20th Century Fox film company is being appealed

    The Ninth Commercial Appeals Court has registered an appeal filed by the Begushchy Gorod (Running City) sports company against the ruling that canceled the legal protection of its PoBeGi trademark. >>>

  • Bank of Russia appeals ruling to collect $37 mln for AMT Bank

    The Bank of Russia has appealed the Moscow Commercial Court’s decision to collect 1.178 bln rubles (approx. $37 million) from the Bank of Russia in favor of AMT Bank. >>>

  • The recognition of gay marriage in France leads to moratorium on the adoption of Russian children

    Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Mr. Pavel Astakhov told journalists after his meeting with State Duma Speaker Mr. Sergei Naryshkin, that a moratorium on the adoption of Russian children by French couples should be put in place until all issues pertaining to the legal recognition of gay marriage in France are resolved >>>

  • An unjust enrichment case against Bank of Cyprus was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction

    The Moscow Commercial Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Novosibirsk company Algeba against the Bank of Cyprus seeking 380 mln rubles (approx. $12.1 mln) in compensation for allegedly unjust enrichment. >>>

  • The State Duma mitigates travel restrictions for debtors

    A bill allowing debtors to travel abroad if their unsettled fines, taxes and other obligatory payments do not aggregately exceed 10k rubles (approx. $320, or €240) was adopted by The State Duma in the first reading on Tuesday. >>>

  • Parallel importer’s lawsuit against the Heineken Ceska Republica brewer was rejected

    Aqualife’s lawsuit against the Heineken Ceska Republica brewer to terminate the legal protection of its Krusovice trademark in Russia ead of time was rejected by The Moscow Commercial Coahurt. >>>

  • Dispute over parallel imports in Russia

    The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) has proposed legalizing parallel imports, which are considered non-counterfeit products imported from another country without the permission of the IP rights owner. However, companies producing in Russia are exempt, according to Igor Artemyev (head of FAS). >>>

  • State Duma committee on Financial Markets proposes restrictions on police access to banks

    According to amendments recommended for inclusion into the bill prior to the second reading of the bill on the prevention of illegal financial transactions, law enforcement agencies would have to obtain a court warrant to access bank account information. The amendments were proposed by the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets. >>>

  • Russian court rejects slander suit filed by the SaleNames against Izvestia over Firefox brand

    A slander lawsuit filed by the SaleNames domain registrar against Russian news daily Izvestia challenging a story describing a dispute over the Firefox brand was rejected. >>>

  • IP suit against McDonald’s to be heard in June

    The Moscow Commercial Court will hear the 790k ruble (approx.$25k) lawsuit that the Russian Organization for Intellectual Property (VOIS) filed against Moscow-McDonald’s on June 6. >>>

  • Another lawsuit against consumer rights regulator is filed by YouTube LLC

    A lawsuit from YouTube LLC, owned by Google, against the Moscow branch of the Federal Service for the Supervision of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) had been accepted by the Moscow Commercial Court. >>>

  • Plastima vs Sberbank: dispute resume

    The Moscow Commercial Court has resumed the hearing of Plastima’s 2 mln euro claim against Sberbank alongside Sberbank’s lawsuit to invalidate its surety bond of the same amount. >>>

  • $2.9 billion claim against Mezhprombank rejected

    The Moscow Commercial Court has rejected banker Sergei Yarmolinsky’s lawsuit that seeks to add his 91.829 bln ruble (approx. $2.9 bln) claim to the list of Mezhprombank creditors. The court has only included a 1,9k ruble (approx. $60) claim from Mr. Yarmolinsky. >>>

  • The legal protection of the Venus trademark held by the Italian Kelemata cosmetics company was terminated

    The legal protection of the Venus trademark held by the Italian Kelemata cosmetics company was terminated by the Moscow Commercial Court upon the US Venus Fashion swimwear producer’s request. >>>

  • The State Duma Committee on Economic Policy upheld relaxed conditions for foreign ownership in small business

    The State Duma Committee on Economic Policy endorsed a bill that lifts a number of restrictions for participation in registered capital of small and medium sized businesses for foreigners and innovative development institutions. >>>

  • Difficulties with income operations for Russians

    The amendments, entering into force 13 February, to the Russian Code of Administrative Offences may cause a loss of the accruals in Russian nationals accounts with foreign banks. As an example, if the revenue was not transferred via a Russian bank, the interest from savings or rental income may be lost. >>>

  • The State Duma adopts individual bankruptcy bill

    During its plenary meeting on Wednesday, the State Duma adopted a bill on the bankruptcy of individuals in the first reading. >>>

  • International arbitral ruling invalidating Hungarian gas sale upheld in Moscow

    The Moscow Arbitration Court has held against RosGas in its claim against Cypriot Mabofi Holdings Ltd. to revoke an arbitration tribunal’s decision on the sale for $1 of Emfesz, a Hungarian gas trading company, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency. >>>

  • Illegality of charging Renault Samara $7.54mln in additional taxes confirmed

    The Eleventh Commercial Court of Appeals has confirmed that it is illegal to recover $7.54 million in additional taxes from Renault (Samara’s branch). >>>

  • $15.7 mln supplementary tax assessment upheld against IKEA

    The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has upheld the Moscow Commercial Court’s decision to charge IKEA Mos $15.7 million in additional taxes on Monday. >>>

  • Aeroflot wins domain name lawsuit

    Russia’s major air carrier Aeroflot won its lawsuit at the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Arbitration and Mediation Center over the aeroflot.xxx domain name, according to Izvestia newspaper. >>>

  • Tax evasion may be treated as criminal money laundering

    The Economic Development Ministry has proposed extending the list of offences related to money laundering. Its draft law has been posted on the ministry’s website. >>>

  • Appeal against $307k award for Gazprom contractor shelved

    A court of appeals has postponed until July 20 the appeal by 494 Upravleniye Nachalnika Rabot against awarding the parent company of Russia’s largest construction holding Stroygazconsulting $307,130 in damages for loss of reputation. The court ruling reads that the necessary documents have not been filed in support of the appeal. >>>

  • Gas pipelines developer Rosgazifikatsiya loses $308mn action against Gazprom

    The Supreme Commercial Court refused to submit to its presidium for review the decision to dismiss Rosgazifikatsiya’s $308 million lawsuit against Gazprom and its registrar. Fifty million shares in Gazprom, or 0.2 percent of its charter capital owned by Rosgazifikatsiya, were transferred to the Depositary-Settlement Union in the early 2000s and auctioned. Rosgazifikatsiya maintains that its management was unaware of the transaction. The plaintiff seeks to recover its losses worth 50 million Gazprom shares. The Moscow Commercial Court rejected Rosgazifikatsiya’s lawsuit on July 27, 2011, stating that the registrar’s fault in causing the losses has not been proven. Moreover, the court had established the guilt of other individuals. The appeals court upheld the ruling. The company then appealed to the Supreme Commercial Court to review the decision. During the litigation, the claim amount grew from 539 million rubles ($16.4 million) in 2001 and 1.3 billion rubles ($39.6 million) in 2008 to 10 billion rubles ($308 million). >>>

  • Baltiysky Zavod recovered debts under a state contract on completing repairs on the nuclear icebreaker

    The Moscow District Federal Commercial Court validated the decision to recover from the Directorate of Sea Transport Development Programs’ Public Customer $24.5 million for Baltiysky Zavod. Baltiysky Zavod is a major Russian shipyard which builds icebreakers, naval and large-capacity cargo ships. It also manufactures engineering products and energy equipment and supplies nonferrous and core-mold castings. Baltiysky Zavod seeks to recover debts under a state contract on completing repairs on the “Fiftieth Anniversary of Victory” icebreaker. Earlier in October 2011, the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals partially satisfied the lawsuit, having reduced the recovery amount to 721.6 million rubles ($24.48 million) from 1.2 billion rubles ($40.7 million). The court dismissed the claims brought against the Finance Ministry and the Federal Agency for Sea and Inland Water Transport, whose competence covers the Directorate. >>>

  • Russian non-profit organizations do not have to pay profit tax on donations from abroad

    The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court has overruled the tax service’s decision to collect profit tax on foreign donations from a non-profit organization. Russian tax authorities charged the Strategy humanitarian and political science center in St. Petersburg 4.5 million rubles ($152,000) in supplementary profit tax. The center contested the decision in court. Its statement of claim reads that the tax authority sought profit tax on donations granted by foreign entities not included in a special government list. The Supreme Arbitration Court ruled that Russian non-profit entities are not obliged to pay profit tax on donations from abroad. The St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Commercial Court referred to this decision to overrule the unlawful profit tax collection. >>>

  • The Supreme Arbitration Court prohibited McDonald’s from using conflicting trademark

    Presidium of the Supreme Arbitration Court has prohibited McDonald’s from using the “Piping Hot!” brand for coffee, tea, cacao, bakery and pastry. The case was submitted for reconsideration to the Moscow Commercial Court regarding the other claims made by Lina company, which holds the rights to the trademark and seeks to recover 1 million rubles ($33,790) for its illegal use. >>>

  • Roundtable discussion on the development of competition law: Federal Antimonopoly Service plans to increase fines for abuse of market dominance

    The Head of Federal Antimonopoly Service announced that the average fine against a company for abusing its market dominance will be doubled in 2012. It was noted that early this year the Service adopted a warning concept as part of the third set of legislative amendments. If a company fails to react to such a warning and continues to abuse its market dominance, the Service will fine the company. >>>

  • Leading Russian baby food producer Nutrinvestholding declared bankrupt

    The Moscow Commercial Court has declared Nutrinvestholding, the head company of Russia’s leading baby food producer Nutritek, bankrupt. The company’s bankruptcy administrator, said it would be impossible to restore the company’s solvency. He also said Nutritek could not pay its debts.The court earlier initiated bankruptcy proceedings in Nutrinvestholding for six months. The company has been under the supervision procedure since October 2011. Nutrinvestholding is now trying to restructure its debts. Nutritek was established in 1990. It comprises five factories producing baby and customized foods - five in Russia, one in Ukraine and one in New Zealand. Nutritek’s founder Georgy Sazhinov currently holds a 40 percent stake in the company, Marshall Capital owns 35 percent, while the remaining 25 percent of its shares are circulated at the stock exchange.Nutritek first defaulted on Eurobonds redemption in late 2008. In mid-2009, it defaulted in ruble bonds retirement. Eventually, its debt totaled about $200 million as of early 2010. >>>

  • The Constitutional Court stated that temporary international treaties must be published before entering into force

    The Constitutional Court stated on Tuesday it is necessary to officially publish temporary international treaties before they come into effect, the court materials read. The court was checking the constitutionality of Item 1, Article 23 of the federal law “On International Treaties of the Russian Federation” pursuant to which international treaties may be applied before they come into effect. And the law provides for the official publication of only those agreements which came into effect. The case was initiated upon the complaint by Igor Ushakov, who brought a number of goods for personal use from China and paid all necessary customs duties in July 2010. It was eventually revealed that customs officers did not take into account the provisions of the Customs Unions Customs Code subject to be applied as well as the import and export agreement between the union members. The document was temporarily applied since July 1, 2010, and stipulated higher customs rates. Eventually, a recalculation was made, which served as a basis for referring to the court. The court held for the customs service’s claim to recover arrears and penalties for the delayed payment. According to the applicant, the rule in dispute does not allow the individuals concerned to timely familiarize themselves with international agreements and follow them. The Constitutional Court established that the disputed rule requires official publication of temporarily applied international treaties. >>>

  • Russian Railways found guilty of violating competition law

    The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals validated the Federal Antimonopoly Service’s decision and order regarding Russian Railways and dismissed its appeal. Earlier, the watchdog’s commission found the railway monopoly had violated the law On the Protection of Competition. West Siberian Railway, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, published a telegram prohibiting the loading of any goods in gondola cars apart from coal for housing and utilities and energy companies. The commission ordered Russian Railways to stop violating the antimonopoly legislation. In particular, the company must prepare and submit to the organizations involved clarifications on the inadmissibility of imposing bans and restrictions on the rail transport of goods on grounds not stipulated by the current legislation. >>>

  • Energy company fined for $31.5 mln in antitrust violation case

    A commercial court has upheld the decision by the antimonopoly watchdog to fine the Tyumenenergo electricity distributor $31.5 million for violating antitrust laws. The court sided with the Federal Antimonopoly Service’s arguments that Tyumenenergo had breached competition law. The watchdog found the company guilty of violating the antitrust law on August 1, 2011 as a result of the proceedings initiated at the request of Gorelektroset located in the city of Nizhnevartovsk. Tyumenenergo was fined 922.9 million rubles ($31.5 million). Meanwhile, the antimonopoly service emphasized that it had done its best to take all the facts of the case into account to allow it to impose the most effective and fair punishment. The service noted that the fine amounts to 6% of Tyumenenergos 2010 earnings on the power distribution market. >>>

  • Coal producer to pay $587k for environmental damage

    A Kuzbass coal-producing company will have to pay more than $587,980 for discharging industrial waste into the Inya River, the Prosecutor General’s Office reported on Tuesday on its website. “Listvyazhnaya Mine discharged waste water into the Inya River and did not comply with acceptable limits on discharging polluting substances, thereby exceeding the permitted concentration of chlorides, sulphates, phosphates, iron and solid residuals,” the office reported. According to the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources, the environmental damage came to more than 17.6 million rubles ($608.730). Therefore, the Belov City Court ordered the mine to compensate the Belov City Court for the full amount of the damages to its budget. >>>

  • The Hungarian courts then quashed the sale in a number of litigations and the ICAC upheld their judgments on

    According to the plaintiff’s opinion, the ICAC decision was not valid due to several procedural violations in the case. The plaintiff stressed that the court went beyond the relevant parameters of the issue in question. In addition, he claimed that one of the arbitrators was involved in both judicial and legal practice, which entailed a conflict of interest. The plaintiff also claimed that during the hearing, ICAC did not pay adequate attention to Gozzi’s position. >>>

  • The St. Petersburg Arbitration Court has included Sberbank’s $29 million claim into the creditors’ list of the Baltiysky Zavod shipbuilding company.

    Sberbank earlier sought to include its $1.5 million claim in the creditors’ list, but enlarged its claim in late February. The major Russian bank seeks to recover the debt for a loan contract signed in October 2009. Sberbank issued a $68 million loan to Baltiysky Zavod to finance its production activities. The loan was set to mature in June 28, 2012. The St. Petersburg Commercial Court will also hear on April 28 the tax service’s request to include its $11 million claim into the creditors’ list. Baltiysky Zavod builds icebreakers, naval and large-capacity cargo ships. It also manufactures engineering products and energy equipment and supplies nonferrous and core-mold castings. >>>

  • The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals rejected Nestle’s appeal in unfair advertising dispute

    The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals has turned down an appeal filed by Nestle Russia against adverse judgment in its suit against Unilever. The Moscow Commercial Court held against Nestle in December 2011. The company then challenged the decision. Nestle believes that Unilever’s “No magic!” advertising slogan discredits the products manufactured by Nestle under the Maggi brand, since Maggi and “magiya” (“magic” in Russian) sound similarly. Nestle maintains that Unilever’s ad is an act of unfair competition affecting Nestle’s business reputation. The company has asked the court to prohibit Unilever from distributing the mentioned advertisement. Unilever is one of the world’s leading consumer goods manufacturers. The company has been operating in Russia since 1992. It sells goods to over 160 countries. The company invested a total of 600 million euro into the Russian economy. The Nestle SA concern was established in 1866 by Swiss pharmacist Henri Nestle. Nestle owns 456 factories in 84 countries. Nestle owns 14 factories in Russia and produces a wide range of food products. >>>

  • The Moscow Arbitration Court ruled to collect from Strakhovaya Gruppa $16.4 million in loan debt for the Bank of Moscow

    A pretrial session was to be held on Monday, but the insurer fully accepted the bank’s claims. The parties did not object to hearing the case on its merits and the judge passed the award. Both the plaintiff and the defendant declined to comment on the dispute. The court is in the middle of considering two more Bank of Moscow lawsuits against the insurer: for 1.418 billion rubles ($48.4 million) and for 1.16 billion rubles ($39.6 million). Strakhovaya Gruppa is a major shareholder of Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa, holding a 50 percent minus one share stake. Stolichnaya Strakhovaya Gruppa manages an insurance holding that includes Strakhovaya Gruppa MSK, the Moscow Reinsurance Company and MSK- Life. The Bank of Moscow is restructuring its finances with the assistance of the Deposit Insurance Agency and the VTB Group, which holds a 94.8-percent interest in the bank. An inspection initiated by VTB, the bank’s new shareholder, uncovered bad loans in its credit portfolio. The Deposit Insurance Agency allocated a 295 billion ruble ($10 million) loan to the bank at the expense of Central Bank reserves. The loan was granted for 10 years at a discounted rate. The loan was then invested in federal loan bonds, which helped to close the gap in the banks finances. In December, VTB raised its share in the Bank of Moscow from 80.57 to 92.22 percent by acquiring shares from Strakhovaya Gruppa MSK >>>

  • The Moscow Arbitration Court rejected the artillery weapons manufacturer`s lawsuit against the Rosoboronexport state-run arms export and import corporation to recover $88.4 million

    Ametech, the plaintiff, stated its intent to challenge the judgment. Ametech seeks from the arms dealer 1.63 billion rubles ($55.63 million) in lost profit, as the order would have brought Ametech $50 million. It also demands 120 million rubles ($4.1 million) in penalties for “unproductive financing,” which resulted in the order fulfillment time being increased by six years. >>>

  • The Federal Antimonopoly Service files appeal in Gazprom bond placement dispute

    The Moscow Arbitration Court has registered the antimonopoly service’s appeal against the court’s dismissal of its decision declaring Gazprom in breach of competition law while holding the bidding for bond placement contracts. The court held for Gazprom in January. The antimonopoly service challenged the judgment. The Federal Antimonopoly Service declared in September 2011 that Gazprom violated competition law during an open bidding for contracts on its bonds placement. Gazprom summed up the bidding results in April 2010. Renaissance Capital and Gazprombank were granted the mandate to place its bonds amounting to 300 billion rubles ($9.6 billion), which at the time was the largest borrowing program on the Russian market. The antitrust authority has established that Gazprom unlawfully overstated the importance of an aspect of the bids appraisal, thus giving preference to an inferior bid. Gazprom responded that competition law is inapplicable in the case as it never announced that the funds raised from the bond placement would be allocated for gas transfer-related activities. In this regard, the gas monopoly was entitled to determine the bid conditions at its own discretion rather than to strictly follow tender regulations and competition law norms. The Federal Antimonopoly Service said Gazprom referred to the mentioned legislation in its tender documents and must follow them to respect the rights of all bidders. The Service also admitted that it would not have sued Gazprom if not for these references. MICEX registered the Gazprom bonds placement in August 2011. Gazprom’s board of directors decided to issue 300 billion rubles ($9.6 billion) in three-year bonds at a par value of 1,000 rubles. The bonds were to be issued in a public offering at MICEX Stock Exchange. Gazprom’s charter capital is 118.368 billion rubles ($3.8 billion), divided into 23.674 billion common shares with a par value of five rubles. Over 50 percent of Gazprom’s shares are held by the state. >>>

  • Rostelecom’s violation of antimonopoly law to be reviewed by the St. Petersburg Arbitration Court on March 29, 2012

    The St. Petersburg Arbitration Court will hear on March 29 Rostelecom’s lawsuit to invalidate the Federal Antimonopoly Service’s decision that the company violated the antimonopoly legislation, the court reported on its website. Rostelecom disputes the service’s decision adopted last November. According to the agency, the company was found guilty of violating competition law while delivering bills on the payment of telecommunications services with a time rate basis system to St. Petersburg subscribers. The service established that the subscribers received the bills no less than five days before the deadline. The Federal Antimonopoly Service found that the rules on rendering telecommunications services were violated. Pursuant to the rules, a provider should deliver bills no less than 10 days before the deadline. Rostelecom is Russia’s largest telecommunication company. >>>

  • IDGC of Siberia’s $23.53mln suit against aluminum smelter to be heard March 21, 2012

    A commercial court of Krasnoyarsk will hear on March 21 the Interregional Distributive Grid Company of Siberia’s (IDGC of Siberia) lawsuit against Rusal Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Smelter for $23.53 million, according to the court materials. IDGC of Siberia intends to recover through the commercial court 689.642 million rubles ($23.53 million) in unjust enrichment for electricity provided in January 2012 and interest for using someone elses funds amounting to 1.529 million rubles ($52,190), the court materials read. The lawsuit was submitted to the court on March. IDGC of Siberia has not yet commented on the situation. It was reported earlier that in 2010 the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals obligated Federal Grid Company of Unified Energy System (FGC UES) to conclude a contract with Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Smelter on the provision of electricity from January 1, 2010. The court confirmed that FGC UES, rather than IDGC of Siberia, started providing electricity to the smelter in early 2010. In September 2009, Rusal Aluminum Business Director Alexei Arnautov said the smelter will pay FGC UES for the electricity consumed, omitting IDGC Siberias mediation services. IDGC is engaged in network power transmission across Russia and services an area of 1.856 million square kilometers. >>>

  • Dispute over YUKOS subsidiary`s loans postponed until April 1, 2012

    The Moscow Arbitration Court postponed on Monday until April 1 its hearing of the Luxemburg-based Yukos Capital S.a.r.l.s $383 million lawsuit against Yuganskneftegaz. The lawsuit was filed by the Vesta investment company, a Rosneft shareholder. According to Vesta, the loans in dispute were issued to Yuganskneftegaz in breach of law. The contracts were signed in July-August 2004 and set to be fulfilled in 2007. The lawsuit was submitted against Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. and Rosneft, which later took over a former YUKOS subsidiary Yuganskneftegaz. The lawsuit was submitted in 2007, but its consideration was suspended until the end of the criminal case against former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev. In late 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced both men to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into account the time they had already served for their convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, on May 24, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year. Now they may be released in 2016. >>>

  • Order No. 292 of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation aims to enforce antimonopoly measures in Russian airports

    The Russian government plans to amend regulations concerning airports service providers. Antimonopoly measures are aimed to prevent the monopolization of ground operations charges at Russian airports. It is observed that end consumers pay substantial charges that are higher in Moscow than elsewhere. The interests of business aviation in Russia are lobbied by the Russian United Business Aviation Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. Its officials press towards the creation in Russian a US-style system, where all airports shall have competition for airport services. >>>

  • The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce finds Russia responsible for the bankruptcy of YUKOS and liable to foreign investors

    A former minority shareholder of Yukos initiated a suit against the Russian state. The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, decided that State actions caused the bankruptcy of the petroleum company. The Arbitration Court ruled for the Yukos shareholders and for the recovery of $3,5 million USD in damages from the State. The Agreement between the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (London, April 6, 1989) was the legal foundation of this decision. The USSR ratified this Agreement by the Ordinance of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of May 29, 1991 N 2199-I. The Agreement prescribes that disputes unresolved amicably shall be submitted to international arbitration, if either party of the dispute wants it. Therefore, any investor involved in the dispute can submit the case to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (art. 8 of the Agreement). However, Russia’s position was based on the contestation of jurisdiction of the arbitration under the provisions of the Agreement. The decision was delivered on September 17, 2010 by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in favor of RosinvestCo UK Ltd. It has been confirmed by its attorneys and the representative of the Ministry of Finance. RosinvestCo is affiliated with the American hedge-fund Elliott Associates with assets of $17 billion. Since 2007 British investors first sought to recover $75 million, and later claimed more than $200 million, owing to the investment losses after the bankruptcy of Yukos. Russia tried to contest the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in Sweden’s state courts assuming that the arbitrators could only decide the questions about the procedure for, and amount of, compensation, but not the question of its origin. The Supreme Court of Sweden finally dismissed this appeal on November 12. The eurobonds’ prospectus of November 29, prepared by the Russian Ministry of Finance, mentions this decision against Russia. According to the representative of the Russian Ministry of Finance, the arbitration decision was appealed in the Court of Appeal in Stockholm on December 10. Russia’s legal position is based on the fact that the arbitrators exceeded their powers, because they could not examine the tax issues of Yukos in Russia. In addition, the arbitrators committed a procedural mistake, having imposed the burden of proof on the Russian Federation. Despite a significant reduction in compensation, Russia continues to dispute the decision, because it is of the precedential nature of the disputes on investment protection agreements. The same Arbitration Institute in Stockholm is now considering a lawsuit by seven Spanish investment funds – holders of Yukos’ American Depositary Receipts, whose interests are represented by Renta 4 S.V.S.A. (the total amount of stated claims is not disclosed). >>>

  • Timofeev, Vahrenwald & Partners contributes to EU-Russia Centre Review

    TV&P contributed a piece to the 14th edition of the EU-Russia Centre Review published Monday 31 May 2010 titled “EU-Russia Legal Co-operation”. The piece titled “A Brief Overview of the Russian Legal System” gives a brief overview of the Russian legal system’s structure and some of its weaknesses. Furthermore, the article gives the reader an insight into the quality of legal counsel in Russia. >>>

  • Rules for visiting the Moscow Kremlin have been altered by the Order of the Federal Security Guard Service

    The Order providing for new rules for visiting the Moscow Kremlin was adopted by the Federal Security Guard Service on February 26, 2010. In accordance with the rules, the prohibition on camera shooting, photography and filming on the territory of the Kremlin, as well as on the adjacent territories (Red Square, Aleksandrovskiy garden, etc.), without permission from the head of the commandant Service of the Moscow Kremlin has been abolished. >>>

  • International adoption by Italian citizens of Russian children: Treaty ratified

    On 6 November 2008 a Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Italian Republic on cooperation in the sphere of international adoption was signed. >>>

  • Amendments of the federal legislation on insolvency (bankruptcy)

    On December 11, 2009 the Russian Parliament (the State Duma) passed the Federal Law No. 323 - FZ “On amendment of articles 20.6 and 20.7 of the Federal Law “On insolvency (bankruptcy)” and article 4 of the Federal Law “On amendment of the Federal Law “On insolvency (bankruptcy)”. Certain provisions of legal acts regulating bankruptcy are clarified by this Law. >>>

  • Amendments of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation

    On December 9, 2009 the Russian Parliament (the State Duma) passed the Federal Law No. 310 - FZ “On amendment of article 4 of the Federal Law “On amendment of part one of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and certain legal acts of the Russian Federation”. The terms granted for the re-registration of Articles of Association of legal entities are prolonged be the Law. On June 1, 2009 amendmentments to part one of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation and to the Federal Law of February 8, 1998 No. 14-FZ “On limited liability companies” entered into force. The Articles of Association of all legal entities should have been brought into compliance with the new requirements by January 1, 2010. This term is currently abolished and the Articles of Association of legal entities should be brought into compliance with the new requirements at the time of their first alteration. These new terms are applied to limited liability companies, whose Articles of Association have not yet been re- registered by the time of entry of the Federal Law of December 17, 2009 No. 310 - FZ into force. This Federal Law enters into force on the day of its official publication. >>>

  • The Higher Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation refused to bring a company to administrative responsibility for illegal use of the trade-mark

    Federal Law No. 259-FZ of December 22, 2008 has ratified the Convention between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Evasion of Taxes for the Income Taxes. Under the agreement, legal and natural persons of the parties are exempt from double taxation of the same incomes in one’s own state and in the partner country. Lawmakers believe this will promote the development of trade, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation and also attract mutual investment. >>>

  • The Convention between Russia and Thailand on avoidance of double taxation and evasion of income taxes enters into force

    Federal Law No. 259-FZ of December 22, 2008 has ratified the Convention between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Prevention of Evasion of Taxes for the Income Taxes. Under the agreement, legal and natural persons of the parties are exempt from double taxation of the same incomes in one’s own state and in the partner country. Lawmakers believe this will promote the development of trade, cultural, scientific and technical cooperation and also attract mutual investment. >>>

  • Decree No. 1489 of the President of the Russian Federation "About the Presidential Council of the Russian Federation on the development of the financial market of the Russian Federation"

    It is formed a Presidential Council of the Russian Federation on the development of the financial market of the Russian Federation. The state commission on the protection of investors’ rights in the financial and stock markets of Russia is abolished. Tasks, rights, composition and Council structure, and session procedures are defined. The Council is an advisory body, which: considers the questions connected with the development and the stability of the financial market, estimates the efficiency of measures accepted in this area; prepares suggestions for the President of the Russian Federation on the protection of the rights of investors and on the prevention of crises in the financial market; by instruction of the President of the Russian Federation carry out examination of draft legislation concerning the financial market; annually presents the President of the Russian Federation with a report on the condition and development of the financial market. Earlier, the aforementioned Commission developed regulatory legal act drafts on the protection of the rights of investors. The chairman of the council is the First deputy of the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation. The decree comes into force from the day of its signing. >>>

  • Resolution No. 757 of the Government of the Russian Federation "About temporary rates for import customs duties concerning separate kinds of goods for medical purposes"

    For a period of 9 months a zero rate is set for import customs duties concerning separate kinds of goods for medical purposes. Namely for: cameras intended for inspection of internal organs; tubular metal needles; drills with miscellaneous dental equipment; x-ray tubes; x-ray luminescent screens and x-ray strengthening screens. At the present time import of the listed goods is assessed by a custom duty rate of 5%. The resolution comes into force one month after the date of its official publication. >>>

  • Resolution No. 756 of the Government of the Russian Federation "About the modification of the customs tariff of the Russian Federation concerning separate kinds of spare parts, units and equipment for aircrafts, and also concerning air training devices"

    It is introduced temporarily (for a period of 9 months) zero rates for import customs duties concerning separate kinds in spare parts, units and equipment for aircrafts, and also concerning air training devices for civil aviation. In particular, the rate of 0% acts concerning importation of multilayered safe glass for civil aviation. Earlier, the rate for customs duties concerning separate kinds in spare parts, units and equipment for aircrafts, and also concerning air training devices for civil aviation, constituted from 3,5 to 20%. The resolution comes into effect two months after the date of its official publication. >>>

  • Order No. 13579 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation "About the confirmation of administrative regulations of the performance of the state function of state civil registration of citizens of the Russian Federation living outside the territory of the Russian Federation"

    A procedure to execute the state function of state civil registration of Russian citizens living outside the territory of the Russian Federation by the MFA of Russia. Within the limits of the state function, the MFA of Russia conducts the state registration of birth, marriage/divorce, adoption, establishment of paternity, name and death change; makes decisions about the change of civil registrations; re-issues certificates about state civil registration, etc. Recipients of the state function are Russian citizens living outside the territory of the Russian Federation, and also foreign citizens and stateless persons. The performance periods of state functions are provided: at a birth – on the day of submitting all proper documents at a foreign establishment; at a wedding registration - as a rule, after one month from the date of submitting the documents; at an adoption – at the day of the approach on the condition of submitting the corresponding documents. Concerning each certificate of registration, a list is presented with the necessary documents to submit. The defined list is the reason, for which the state function is not executed. >>>

  • Ministry of Education and Science of Russia comments on TV&P letter of inquiry

    TV&P prepared an advocatory request on behalf of the associate of the South Korean law firm SHIN & KIM, who has got higher education in the Russian Federation. She had studied at the law faculty of the Moscow State Lomonosov University and had received state diploma of Bachelor of Law and, subsequently, her Master of Law diploma. >>>

  • TV&P comments on Russian labour legislation and employees’ pay under labour contracts

    Click here to download full text in PDF format. >>>

  • Contributions by TV&P to the IFTA Arbitration Award Enforcement Booklet 2007

    Our law firm participated in the 11th Industrialists Conference organised by the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum - Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates. The event took place in Abu Dhabi on 20 to 21 January 2008. >>>

  • 11th Industrialists Conference under the auspices of the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) and Ministry of Finance and Industry of the UAE

    Our law firm participated in the 11th Industrialists Conference organised by the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting (GOIC) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum - Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance and Industry of the United Arab Emirates. The event took place in Abu Dhabi on 20 to 21 January 2008. >>>

  • Amendments to the Federal Law on the Currency Regulation and Currency Control

    Amendments to the Article 12 of the Federal Law on the Currency Regulation and Currency Control were introduced by the Federal Law No. 242-FZ. Under the amendments, it is provided that diplomatic representations, consular institutions of the Russian Federation and other official representations of Russia abroad, as well as permanent representations of Russia in interstate and intergovernmental organizations are exempted from the duty to submit to the tax bodies reports of the flow of resources on the accounts (deposits) in the banks outside the Russian Federation. >>>

  • New Rules of Invitations to Enter the Russian Federation for Foreigners

    New Rules of drawing up of invitations to enter Russia for foreign citizens and stateless persons were introduced by the Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 655 of October 8, 2007. Invitation to enter the Russian Federation for a foreign citizen or stateless person serves as grounds to issue the visa or enter Russia without visa under procedures envisages in the Federal Law or international treaty of the Russian Federation. >>>

  • Decision of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 628

    The Decision of the Russian Government No. 839 of December 30, 2006 introduced for nine months the zero rates of import customs duties for auto components imported for industrial assembly and for component parts and a number of commodities for production of aircraft engines. Decision of the Russian Government No. 628 of October 1, 2007 endorsed these rates in regard of the mentioned objects on the permanent basis. The Decision is entered into force from October 2, 2007. >>>

  • Order of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation No. 192

    The Order provides for the endorsement of the administrative regulation on the execution of the state function of organisation of search of the debtors and their property. The sphere of reference of the Federal Bailiff Service shall include the search of the debtor organisation, as well as the search of the property of the debtor (citizen or organisation). The Order was registered in the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on September 21, 2007. Reg. No. 10164. >>>

  • Amendments to the Federal Law on the Currency Regulation and Currency Control

    Under the amendments introduced by Federal Law No. 127-FZ, it is permitted to transfer money without restrictions by resident natural persons from their bank accounts to their spouses and other close relatives (even if their accounts are opened in banks abroad). >>>

  • Amendments to the Russian Tax Code

    Federal Law No. 77-FZ of May 16, 2007 on the Amendment to Article 372 of Part 2 of the Russian Tax Code provides for removal of controversies in the text of the Russian Tax Code pertaining to the authority to endorse the form of the tax declaration for the property tax from organisations. >>>

  • Liability for violation of Law on the Continental Shelf and Law on the EEZ

    Criminal Code of the Russian Federation was amended by Federal Law No. 46�‛FZ of April 9, 2007. Amendments introduced to articles 11, 252 and 253 were intended to make criminal legislation corresponding with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982 (ratified by Russian Federation on 12 March 1997), Federal Law on the Continental Shelf of the Russian Federation of 1995 and Federal Law on the exclusive economic zone of the Russian Federation of 1998. >>>

  • Amendments to Russian Legislation on Water Resources

    Regulations Governing the State Water Register Keeping shall be taken into account before entering into a contract of water use in Russia (e. g. fishery). >>>