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.
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