Russian institutions in Belgium received arrest warrants for state property of the Russian Federation in the European country. Exceptions were made only for the property protected by diplomatic immunity.
The list includes almost all major banks that are registered in Belgium and all the Russian representative offices, right up to the Archbishopric of Brussels and Belgium of the Russian Orthodox Church and representative offices of non-governmental organizations and media, Pravda.Ru reports with reference to Interfax.
The document stated that the arrest was made on the basis of the decision of the Belgian Court of Arbitration from 18 July 2014 under the claim from Yukos Universal Limited.
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The amount specified in suit was 1.65 billion euros.
Earlier, the head of the Justice Ministry of the Russian Federation, Alexander Konovalov, stated that Russia was not going to satisfy the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on compensations to shareholders of the former company Yukos, because it had no reason to do so.
Pravda.Ru asked political analyst Vladimir Bruter to comment on the situation.
“Both the official authorities and judicial agencies of Belgium should comment on their own decisions. If the latest move had no relation to the decision of the ECHR, they must give a detailed explanation official representatives of the Russian Federation as to why they had taken appropriate measures. Otherwise, this is an act of arbitrariness in a very rough form to put pressure on Russian governmental organizations,” said Vladimir Bruter.
Pravda.Ru correspondent asked Mr. Bruter whether the arrest of Russian state property in Belgium could be regarded as another wave of escalation of relations with Russia.
“I can definitely say that such actions must take place solely within the framework of certain court decisions. Otherwise, these measures can be taken in relation to the property of another state only after adequate consultations with that state. If such measures are single-handed, then they can taken against the adequate country accordingly. Belgium must give a comprehensive answer, and then Russia should take a retaliatory action,” said Vladimir Bruter.
The list of the arrested Russian public property in Belgium includes the local branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian representative office in Eurocontrol, the European air traffic agency headquartered in Brussels. We asked the expert whether the ECHR decision could directly affect private or public organizations in Member States of the Council of Europe?
“Generally, it can not directly affect anything, as this is not a decision of the ECHR, but a decision of Belgium. The European Court of Human Rights can not take any action to secure the claim – this is a prerogative of national governments that have to act very carefully in their responses,” concluded Vladimir Bruter.
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma, member of the State Duma Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction, Igor Lebedev, answered similar questions for Pravda.Ru
According to the official, the arrest of the Russian state property abroad comes as a logical consequence of the lawsuit that Yukos had won against Russia. Against the background of deteriorating relations with the West, such a development of events was to be expected. “Therefore, from a legal point of view, there is nothing surprising in this,” Igor Lebedev told Pravda.Ru.
Igor Lebedev believes that the decision of the ECHR can not directly affect private or public organizations in member states of the Council of Europe.
“Private property is protected by law in all countries. Arrest is to be applied solely to public property as the lawsuit concerned the relationship with the state. Private property or property of the church should in no way be subject to such actions,” he said.
Russia will not go down to childish fights with Belgium, the official said. “One shouldn’t deploy tanks because of that, you know,” he added. Russia should file an adequate lawsuit in response to the arrest of its property in Belgium.
“We should have used all legal possibilities not to lose the suit when it was filed. In addition, we must now use all opportunities to appeal against the decision,” Igor Lebedev told Pravda.Ru.
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