Supreme Court decides not to freeze assets of Ukrainian subsidiaries of banks with Russian public capital
The Supreme Court has dismissed a claim of the private law enforcer and left rulings of Kyiv's court of appeals, which lifted the order to freeze movable and immovable property of Sberbank, VTB Bank and Prominvestbank (all based in Kyiv), unchanged.
The rulings of the Supreme Court were published in the unified register of court rulings.
Kyiv's court of appeals froze property of these banks to secure a claim filed by companies of businessman Ihor Kolomoisky to execute awards of Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to collect t$130.5 million and interest from the Russian Federation in the person of the Justice Ministry of Russia as compensation for immovable property seized in Crimea after the annexation of the peninsula.
As reported, 18 legal entities and ex-board chairman of PrivatBank Oleksandr Dubilet in June 2015 filed a lawsuit with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague against the Russian Federation in connection with the seizure of their property in Crimea based on the Ukraine-Russia bilateral investment treaty signed in 1998.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on May 2, 2018 said that the Tribunal issued its unanimous Award on the Merits, addressing issues pertaining to liability and damages.
In July 2018, all 18 legal entities and Dubilet appealed to the Kyiv Court of Appeals seeking to declare valid the award of Permanent Court of Arbitration and collect sums from the debtor – Russia as compensation for real estate.
New law in the Code of Civil Procedure of Ukraine was applied to confirm pro-arbitration and in pursuance to Part 3 of Article 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure in August 2018 the claimants filed a petition to secure the claim to the Kyiv Court of Appeals. They claimants sought to seize the shares of Prominvestbank, Sberbank and VTB Bank and ban any actions aimed at selling property.
By the ruling dated September 5, 2018, Kyiv's court of appeals, acting as the court of lower instance, granted the application for securing the claim, and by the ruling dated September 25 of the same year - the application for recognition and the granting of permission to enforce the award of the Hague arbitration.
The Supreme Court, by its decision dated January 25, 2019, rejected the appeals against the ruling of Kyiv's court of appeals dated September 25, 2018, by which the court recognized and allowed to execute the decision of the Hague arbitration court.
The Supreme Court also partially granted appeals against another ruling of Kyiv's court of appeals dated September 5, 2018, about securing a lawsuit freezing shares of Ukrainian subsidiaries of Russian banks with state participation: VTB, Prominvestbank and Sberbank.
In November 2018, the freeze of the property was lifted.