News (#11 November 2017)

Cases

Litigation between Siemens and Russia over Crimean turbines continues

The Moscow Arbitration Court accepted a counterclaim of JSC Foreign Economic Association Technopromexport and LLC Foreign Economic Association Technopromexport versus Siemens for invalidation of three provisions of the agreement on the acquisition of turbines of 10 March 2015.

It is noted that the issue is the contract for the sale of turbines concluded between joint venture of Siemens and Power Machines — LLC Siemens Gas Turbine Technology and the JSC Foreign Economic Association Technopromexport. It was stated in the contract that the turbines were designed for Taman, and could not be used in Crimea, in accordance with sanctions.

The claim will be considered along with the original one. The plaintiff asked for a month for preparation.

If the provisions are declared invalid, then the entire transaction cannot be contested.

A reminder that the Technopromexport company acquired four Siemens gas turbines in 2015. It was announced that the turbines were intended for the construction of a power plant in Taman, but by the summer of 2017 the equipment was discovered in occupied Crimea, although European companies, including Siemens, are prohibited from supplying power equipment to Crimea because of the sanctions currently in place.

 

Constitutional Court of Spain declared referendum on independence illegal

The Constitutional Court of Spain has ruled to declare illegal the Catalan referendum on independence that was held on 1 October.

The court reasoned its ruling that the referendum was held on the basis of the law on referendum on self-determination adopted by the regional Parliament on 6 September, which contradicts the Spanish Constitution and, therefore, has no legal force.

The court ruling states that the Catalan law on referendum violates the principle of national sovereignty and of the inseparable unity of the Spanish nation. Moreover, the court held that the meeting of the Catalan Parliament, at which this law was adopted, also contradicted the Spanish Constitution.

According to local authorities, at the referendum held on 1 October in Catalonia residents voted in favor of independence from Spain.

 

Assets of Viktor Yanukovych and son frozen legally

The Court of Justice of the European Union, located in Luxembourg, delivered a judgment on the appeal of the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his son Oleksandr, regarding the sanctions imposed on them in the EU in 2015-2016.

The judgment was adopted according to the sanctions that were imposed in the EU on both defendants in the case from 6 March 2015 to 6 March 2016. The Grand Chamber of the EU Court affirmed the initial decision to uphold the Brussels sanctions as legitimate against them.

The court in Luxembourg formulated its judgment in such a way that the apprehension of the Yanukovych family of bias of the Ukrainian judicial system is not grounds to doubt the validity of charges of embezzlement of public funds filed against them.

The Yanukovych family has not yet appealed against the sanctions for 2016-2017.

 

Fuel delivery contract between PJSC Ukrzaliznytsya and Wog Aero Jet LLC overturned

On 18 October the Kiev Economic Court of Appeal upheld the court decision in the lawsuit of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) to PJSC Ukrzaliznytsya and Wog Aero Jet LLC on invalidation of the additional agreement to a contract on diesel fuel delivery, under which PJSC Ukrzaliznytsya, according to the NABU, groundlessly overpaid UAH 92 million. The decision came into effect immediately after it was announced. It is the basis for the return of overpaid funds to Ukrzaliznytsya.

The specified transaction, due to which, the state-owned enterprise suffered losses, was investigated from September 2016 in criminal proceedings on the fact of embezzlement of property in especially large amounts by Ukrzaliznytsya branch officials.

As the investigation established, in March 2016, Wog Aero Jet LLC won a tender and concluded with the Production Support Center, PJSC Ukrzaliznytsya branch, a contract on diesel fuel delivery at an economic price below the market one. Later, Ukrzaliznytsya officials and representatives of the company thrice concluded additional agreements to the mentioned contract of delivery. Via these additional agreements, Ukrzaliznytsya officials, using a provision of law on the possibility to increase the price by up to 10% in case of fluctuations in the market, increased the cost of diesel fuel for the railway.

At the same time, between the second and the third supplementary agreements, the market price of fuel did not rise and, therefore, the conclusion of the third supplementary agreement contradicted the interests of the state and society and requirements of legislation. As a result, the purchase price of diesel fuel not only lost its economic advantage, but also exceeded the market price level, which led to distortion of the tender’s results. It is noteworthy that three quarters of Ukrzaliznytsya fuel was supplied at prices that were raised on the basis of the third additional agreement.

 

Court partially blocked latest version of Trump’s executive order on immigration

In the USA, a court has partially blocked the last version of the executive order on immigration issued by US President Donald Trump, which was due to come into force on 18 October.

Restrictions on entry were placed on citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as some Government officials from Venezuela. This was the third version of Trump’s executive order on immigration. The claim against this policy was filed by the state of Hawaii, arguing that federal immigration law does not give the US President the right to impose restrictions on six of the mentioned countries.
At the same time, Hawaii did not challenge the prohibition on entry of citizens from North Korea and Venezuela.

Trump’s executive order was blocked by Derrick Watson, federal judge of the state of Hawaii. A reminder that Trump’s second executive order on immigration placed a temporary ban on entry into the USA for citizens of six countries populated primarily by Muslims. This referred to Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The prohibition lasted 90 days and ended in September.

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