Some assets of Russian organizations, including accounts held by the CBR and news agency RIA Novosti were frozen over a 49 million euro ($75 million) claim by the Swiss trading firm to secure the repayment of debts under barter oil deals struck with Russia's government in the early 1990s.
The court ruled that the Russian Central Bank was an independent legal entity and was not liable for the obligations of the government of Russia, a French lawyer for the CBR said.
"We are very glad. This is a big victory," the lawyer said.
The Russian Central Bank's 50 million euro ($78 million) account with Calyon was the last of the CBR's accounts unfrozen in France in the dispute with Noga. The French court's ruling also obliged the Swiss firm to pay 40,000 euros ($62,000) in damages and 15,000 euros ($23,000) as judicial expenses, the lawyer said.
The Russian Central Bank confirmed on Tuesday that its account with Calyon Bank had been unlocked.
"Today we have won the second seizure. We have finally resolved this problem," a source in the Central Bank said.
Since 1993, Noga has repeatedly applied for the seizure of Russian property abroad, including a sailing vessel and military aircraft that took part in exhibitions and shows, and in 2005 a collection of paintings owned by the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum, to secure the repayment of debts.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).