'Rotenberg bill' to give compensation for sanctions losses passes first Duma reading

By bne IntelliNews October 9, 2014

bne -

 

Russia's State Duma  passed at its first reading on October 9 a law providing for compensation from the state budget for losses incurred by Russians through "unfair" foreign court decisions. 

Economy minister Aleksei Ulyukaev, personally attending the session, protested against the law. According to Ulyukaev, the law contradicts Russia's international obligations and creates "unclear budget liability for foreign assets”. "Basically we are sponsoring the export of capital from the country in different forms, which probably is not the goal of economic policy," Ulyukaev told parliament. The representatives of both the government and the president in the Duma did not intervene in the debate.

The law has been introduced by Vladimir Ponezhevsky of the ruling United Russia party, who explained it was an attempt to protect Russian citizens against "unfriendly steps" in the context of sanctions imposed on Russia by EU and US, including sanctions targeting a number of businessmen believed to be close to Russian president Vladimir Putin. The draft bill has been thus nicknamed by critics as "the Rotenberg law," referring to the brothers Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, oligarchs and childhood friends of Russian president Vladimir Putin, whose foreign assets have been frozen. It was supported only by Putin's United Russia party.

According to Ponezhevsky, the bill does not seek to protect any specific individuals, but foreign property owned by Russian citizens targeted by an unjust decision of a foreign court. "Unjust" in this context means court cases that should have been heard in Russia and not abroad, Ponezhevsky said. Head of the Duma committee on constitutional order Vladimir Pligin declared the bill had a preventive character in the case that Ukraine expropriated residents of Crimea. 

Yulia Tseplyaeva, analyst at Sberbank, told business daily Kommersant that the law could cost hundreds of billions of rubles. Moreover, assets targeted by sanctions had not been confiscated but only frozen, she said. 

Related Articles

Drum rolls in the great disappearing act of Russia's banks

Jason Corcoran in Moscow - Russian banks are disappearing at the fastest rate ever as the country's deepening recession makes it easier for the central bank to expose money laundering, dodgy lending ... more

Kremlin: No evidence in Olympic doping allegations against Russia

bne IntelliNews - The Kremlin supported by national sports authorities has brushed aside "groundless" allegations of a mass doping scam involving Russian athletes after the World Anti-Doping Agency ... more

PROFILE: Day of reckoning comes for eccentric owner of Russian bank Uralsib

Jason Corcoran in Moscow - Revelations and mysticism may have been the stock-in-trade of Nikolai Tsvetkov’s management style, but ultimately they didn’t help him to hold on to his ... more

Notice: Undefined index: subject_id in /var/www/html/application/controllers/IndexController.php on line 335
Dismiss