TOP LEGAL EVENTS OF THE LAST WEEK
The sale of foreign companies’ assets in Russia has long turned into a farce. Recently, the renowned Danish brewery Carlsberg accused the Russian government of stealing its business. Carlsberg completely severed all ties with the Russian ‘Baltika’, refusing to conclude an agreement with the Russian Cabinet of Ministers that would have made the seizure of assets legal. After the Danish company announced that it had found a buyer for its Russian assets, the Russian authorities immediately, through violation of all international legislative norms, transferred a share of Carlsberg in ‘Baltika’ to temporary administration by the Federal Property Management Agency. In its statement, the Ministry of Finance did not explain the difference between ‘temporary administration’ and regular raiding.
Foreign companies face difficulties while selling Russian businesses. The foreign business owners in nowadays Russia must not only consider the requirements for the discount and "voluntary" contribution. They also have to consider the currency in which the proceeds from the deal are withdrawn.
Carlsberg accused Russia of stealing their business. "They stole our business in Russia, and we're not going to help them make it look legitimate," emphasized the company's CEO, Jakob Andersen. The Russian authorities said they did not steal Carlsberg's property but merely "temporarily took possession" of it.
A London court deprived Russia of sovereign immunity in the Yukos case. The High Court of London ruled that Russia cannot claim sovereign immunity to avoid enforcing the decision to pay $60 billion to former Yukos shareholders.
A bill prohibiting English words on shop windows is introduced in the State Duma. A group of deputies from the United Russia party has submitted a bill to the State Duma aimed at combating foreign words on signs and shop windows.
Russia has dropped to 113th place in the Rule of Law Index. The World Justice Project, an international independent organization, has released its latest Rule of Law Index, which has been published since 2015.