Information about the alleged involvement of Ukraine to the international court cases, PrivatBank initiated against the Russian Federation for damages from the loss of the banking business and assets as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea, is untrue, said the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.
“The state of Ukraine is not involved in the case on claim of PJSC CB “PrivatBank” and JSC “Financial company “Vinylon” against Russia”, – stated in the release office on Tuesday evening.
The Finance Ministry said that the statement of claim was initiated by the plaintiffs in accordance with the Arbitration rules of the UN Commission on international trade law (UNCITRAL, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) about the violation of their rights under the agreement between the governments of Ukraine and the Russian Federation on encouragement and mutual protection of investments of November 27, 1998 .
As reported, the international court of arbitration in the Hague (Permanent Court of Arbitration) at the end of February this year recognized the obligation of Russia to protect Ukrainian investors in Crimea after its annexation in accordance with bilateral Russian-Ukrainian agreement on investment protection.
The first such proceedings against Russia was initiated by the suit of the former co-owner of PrivatBank Igor Kolomoisky and “the Airport “Belbek” on January 13, 2015. The plaintiffs said that the Russian Federation violated its obligations arising from said contract, by taking from February 2014 actions deprived plaintiffs of property rights, contractual and other rights in the operation of the passenger terminal for commercial flights of the airport “Belbek” in Crimea.
I. Kolomoisky announced the availability by 2020 of the contract for the management of passenger terminal of airport “Belbek” (Sevastopol), nationalized by Russia after the annexation of Crimea. He demanded that Russia compensate losses in potential income from the terminal. We are talking about $15 million.
Then, 13 APR 2015, similar arbitration proceedings against the Russian Federation initiated PrivatBank and OOO “Financial company “Vinylon” since Russia’s annexation of Crimea did not allow the plaintiffs to continue their banking business in the Crimea.
After the hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility (Geneva, July 12-14, 2016) the arbitral Tribunal invited the parties to Supplement their written positions in the period until 14 October 2016. Plaintiffs have provided their written add-on 14 October 2016, while the Russian Federation has not submitted any additions. In late February arbitration adopted an interim decision on jurisdiction.
The Hague arbitration considers a number of similar claims from companies related to the former shareholders of PrivatBank, in particular, “Ukrnafta” and “Stable”, lost in the Crimea, the oil business, former head of the Board of PrivatBank Alexander Dubilet and 18 companies, lost in the Crimea assets in real estate. All of these cases also reached the stage of the hearing on jurisdiction, but the decision has not yet been imposed.
Chairman of the Board of the nationalized at the end of 2016 PrivatBank Oleksandr Shlapak in an interview with the “Economic truth”, published last week, said that after the nationalization of the financial institution continued its cooperation with the lawyers that were hired earlier. “Today we have divided the case: we are interested only in our portfolio, separately from the aggregate losses of the business of the former shareholders”, – he said.
According to him, the Crimean assets of the Bank in the amount, by today’s estimates, about 14 billion UAH were confiscated by the local authorities and investors about UAH 10 billion, if converted at today’s exchange rate, remained.