Russia readies to arrest foreign property and revise WTO membership terms

The Russian authorities develop a legal base to be able to arrest property of foreign states and entities and receive compensations for seized property of Russian citizens on the territory of foreign states.

Deputies of the State Duma received bill №607554-6, which stipulated  amendments to the federal law "On compensations for the violation of the right to trial within a reasonable time."

The author of the initiative, deputy of United Russia faction Vladimir Ponevezhsky offered to amend the current legislation so that the individuals, whose property was arrested under "unjust judicial acts," could apply to the Russian court asking to be compensated for seized property.

According to the bill, "Russian entities, in respect of which a foreign court, in violation of the court's jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, imposes a judicial act, providing for enforcement through their property, shall be entitled to apply to court or arbitration court seeking compensation for violation of their right to consider the case by a competent court of the Russian Federation."

Following the news of the arrest of 30-million-euro assets of Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg by the Italian Financial Guard in September 2014, the legislative initiative received further development.

Meanwhile, the Russian leadership is ready to begin negotiations to revise the terms of WTO membership, Deputy Minister for Industry, Viktor Yevtukhov said.

According to the Vedomosti newspaper, one needs to first agree on raising import duties, which Russia undertook to reduce. It is expected that it will go about products of engineering, metallurgy and transport industries.

Yevtukhov, speaking at the opening of the international summit of retail industry, explained that the top political leadership of Russia supported the decision. Last week, Minister for Industry and Trade Denis Manturov discussed this question with President Vladimir Putin.

According to Yevtukhov, the precise list of products has not been prepared yet. The Ministry for Industry continues working on the list, analyzing complaints from companies and industry associations. The official did not specify, where such complaints came from.

In May, Russia's Ministry for Industry addressed to the Ministry for Economic Development with a request to reserve Russia's right to enter into negotiations on the revision of tariff commitments at the WTO after 1 January 2015. WTO rules provide an opportunity to negotiate the revision of agreements to protect the market every three years, and the next three-year period is starting next year, he explains. In July, the Russian delegation at the WTO set forth an adequate statement and thereby ensured Russia's opportunity to negotiate.


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov