Moscow Furious After Both Belgium And France Freeze Russian State Assets

Tyler Durden's picture

Russia has summoned the Belgian ambassador to Moscow and threatened to “respond in kind” after bailiffs instructed nearly 50 Belgian companies to disclose Russian state assets, a move which reportedly sets the stage for the seizure of Russian property in connection with the disputed $50 billion Yukos verdict. Essentially, Russia was required to submit a plan for a €1.6 billion payment pursuant to the ECHR decision by June 15, and because Moscow did not do so, Belgium will attempt to extract the payment on its own.

As a refresher, here’s what we said last year regarding the arbitration:

The Hague is not Vladimir Putin's favorite place today. Following the "war crime" comments earlier, the arbitration court's decision to rule in favor of Yukos shareholders (and thus against the allegedly "politically motivated" confiscation of the firm's assets by the Russian government) with a $50 billion settlement (half what was sought) has prompted a quick and angry response from the Russian government. Blasting the "one-sided use of evidence," and re-iterating the massive tax evasion that the leadership were involved in, Russia slams "the puzzling unprecedented amount of damages" awarded, claiming the process is "becoming increasingly politicized."

Here’s RT on Belgium’s move to freeze Russian assets:

The bailiffs were reportedly acting at the behest of the Isle of Man-based Yukos Universal Limited, a subsidiary of the Russian energy giant, dismantled in 2007. They have given the target companies a fortnight to comply..

 

Russia will appeal the court’s arrest of Russian property, Russian presidential aide Andrey Belousov said. According to the official, “the situation with the arrest of the property is politicized, [and] Moscow hopes to avoid a new escalation in relations.”

 

A letter accompanying the notice, reportedly drafted by the law firm Marc Sacré, Stefan Sacré & Piet De Smet, accused Moscow of a “systematic failure to voluntarily follow”international legal judgments.

The addressees included not just local offices of Russian companies, but international banks, a local branch of the Russian Orthodox Church, and even Eurocontrol, the European air traffic agency headquartered in Brussels. Only diplomatic assets, such as embassies, were exempt.

 

The situation was not unexpected, and Russia is considering a number of measures to deal with possible asset seizures both in Belgium and in other countries, said Andrey Belousov, an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

Yukos Universal Limited was awarded $1.8 billion in damages by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in July 2014, as part of a total settlement for approximately $50 billion, owed to its former shareholders and management. The court concluded that the corporation, once headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent more than a decade in prison for embezzlement and tax evasion from 2003 to 2013, “was the object of a series of politically motivated attacks.”

 

Russia has not accepted the ruling, saying it disregards widespread tax fraud committed by Yukos, and constitutes a form of indirect retribution for Russia’s standoff with the West over Ukraine. 

And more, from Interfax (Google translated):

Russian institutions in Belgium, except for diplomatic missions, received on Wednesday by bailiffs arrest warrants in their possession of the State Property of the Russian Federation.

 

The document stated that the arrest is made on the basis of the decision of the Belgian Court of Arbitration of 18 July 2014 to the claim of "Yukos Universal Limited."

The specified amount of the claim in it - 1.6 billion euros.

 

Bailiffs indicate that the plaintiff has demanded such a measure, "because it has serious concerns about the possibility to receive the sum due, in particular, due to a systematic failure of the Russian Federation to fulfill handed down judgments against it and considering the attitude of the Russian Federation to the decision."

 

As explained by "Interfax" the representative offices of bailiffs' Marc Sacre - Stefan Sacré - Piet De Smet "listed in the organizations are obliged to declare within two weeks at their disposal cash, property of the Russian Federation and the debt to the Russian Federation.

 

The list covers almost all the major banks, registered in Belgium, and even organizations such as "Eurocontrol", which regulates air traffic over Europe. In it - all Russian representative, except for the protected diplomatic immunity until the Archbishopric of Brussels and Belgium ROC, including the representation of non-governmental organizations and the media.

But it's not just Belgium. France also froze the accounts of Russian companies on Thursday, targeting Russian firms run by a French subsidiary of the country's second largest lender, VTB. Here's RT again:

French law enforcement has frozen the accounts of Russian companies operated by the French subsidiary of VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, CEO Andrey Kostin told RBC. Diplomatic accounts were briefly frozen as well, but have since been unlocked. “As of this morning [diplomatic accounts] were unfrozen… The sums are small, some dozens of thousands of euros, [but] Russian companies' accounts are still frozen,” the bank chief was cited as saying. “We are working on the problem with our lawyers now.”

And the response from the Kremlin:

  • RUSSIA SUMMONS BELGIAN AMBASSADOR OVER FREEZES OF RUSSIA ASSETS
  • RUSSIA: FREEZES OF ASSETS IN BELGIUM `UNFRIENDLY ACT'
  • RUSSIA MAY RESPOND IN KIND TARGETING BELGIAN ASSETS IN RUSSIA

“[Remove the violations], otherwise, the Russian side will be forced to consider taking adequate response measures against properties of the Kingdom of Belgium, including properties of the Belgian embassy in Moscow, as well as of its legal entities”

We imagine this will only serve to further inflame tensions between Russia and Europe amid escalating violence in Ukraine and an increasingly aggressive stance towards the Kremlin on the part of Washington and NATO. 

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JustObserving's picture

WTF?  Belgium and France feel suicidal suddenly?

Or NSA spying was very effective in those states.

How many women was Hollande cheating on? 

HonkyShogun's picture
HonkyShogun (not verified) JustObserving Jun 18, 2015 11:01 AM

Clearly another example of "Russian Aggression" according to Hymie's media.

y3maxx's picture

...This is definately an Act of War by Belgium and France...I mean the USA.

Hitlery_4_Dictator's picture

Don't talk about it, be about it Putin. 

BuddyEffed's picture

This article shows how the parasites will fight over the spoils, any way they can.

tmosley's picture

Edging awfully close to an act of war with this one.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Extremely dim bulbs running the "Show" world nowadays.

Frigging old playbook, well worn edges...

As a side note, I just redisovered Edith Piaf after decades.

And then I listen to what passes for Muzzik today....

It's all a nice, fractal tell...

Creepy A. Cracker's picture

Accounts frozen... 

Thanks for the reminder.  Transfer out...

whotookmyalias's picture

Don't these people know that if you don't physically hold it in your possession, it it not yours?

 

Handful of Dust's picture

If Russia would stop sending troops, drones, arms, etc to fuel the ME wars maybe they'd leave 'm alone.

 

 

... oh ... wait a sec ....

0b1knob's picture

You forgot to include the mandatory "this is actually good for Russia" and "this is all part of Putin's master plan" memes.

GoldSilverBitcoinBug's picture

This is actually good: pushing Russia with China, a death combo against the malicious and manipulative West.

eatthebanksters's picture

Interesting, after chastising Obummer for fucking up their relationship with Russia, the French do an about face.  It's all about the Benjamin's...we promised them more...what a corrupt world we live in...

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

A nuke may create enough heat to unfreeze those accounts

Truthseeker2's picture

The war is just beginning ... and is likely to stay out of the domain of armed conflict ... except for the Ukraine. 

Russia calls investigation into whether US moon landings happened

0b1knob's picture

Russia isn't a real country.

STP's picture

But you're a real troll...

Publicus's picture

Stop all oil gas flow to Europe now! Raise the price 100%!

OC Sure's picture

 

 

 

ZH, 

What then is the latest from Rostislav Ishchenko?

 ...à la, http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-02/what-does-putin-want

Expect only pomp and circumstance from Putin, then acquiesce to buy more time?

(...it takes an anvil to break a hammer.)

old naughty's picture

so furious...

they inked MOU with Greece, and MOI with Shell, et al...

Fast!

the kings whore's picture

President Obama is really laying an ass-whipping on Putin.  Barry is schooling that cracker in the ways of politics.  The president is making me proud.

the kings whore's picture

President Obama is really laying an ass-whipping on Putin.  Barry is schooling that cracker in the ways of politics.  The president is making me proud.

Ayreos's picture

A country is a fraudolent construct based on violence and theft. Russia is a supernational entity. It is THE Federeation fighting the corrupt Empire.

dontgoforit's picture

Now we know why "Belgium" about a year ago....hmmmm.  Where are the places the fingers do not reach?  Those are the places they wish to reach.  Russia and China are like pulling in a great white with 20-lb test.  Good luck, de Rothschilde.

Bindar Dundat's picture

Now let's confiscate all their condos in Miami and Sunny Iles...

Meat Hammer's picture

Wouldn't de Rothschild benefit from worldwide economic destruction?  

PhilofOz's picture

Not with the drone and missile technology available these days to turn them into lumps of charcoaled meat and bones.

steelhead23's picture

Does anyone in Europe remember 1945 - or the 5 years prior to the Red Army sweeping across Germany?  Perhaps when Gazprom cuts off the flow next winter they'll remember.

WhackoWarner's picture

Nobody remembers and educational system and Hollywood wizards have recreated history.  It is not to USA USA USA advantage to tell the truth regarding Russia's sacrifices in WW2.   Don't you know it was all winning, winning once USA got involved.  Don't you remember that Hollywood won the war?

 

Ladioss's picture

I'm more humiliated to see my country acting like the USA's little bitch but you have a point.

knukles's picture

Methinks that just may be an act of war, is it not?
I know that closing one's access to international payment systems is codified as boa-fide act of war.

Normalcy Bias's picture

Yep. Let's keep f'ing with this ruthless chess player and see what we get. Brilliant!

mtl4's picture

Cmon now, any billionaire knows that war is good for the economy and history is written by the winners........it's gonna be a COLD winter in Europe soon.

 

Normalcy Bias's picture

I know -It may all be theater for the masses at this point...

WhackoWarner's picture

Actually war is not good for the economy.  Read up on that.

 

Was great for TEAM USA as they vultured in on supplying the Allied forces (and behind the scenes to Germany as well...)  played both sides.  What a concept.  Good for the economy?  Who exactly reaped the rewards?

PhilofOz's picture

Again, none of these billionaires have that privilege of cleaning up with a war these days as they'll all have very visible targets on their backs in advance of any drone and missile strikes coming their way.

Anusocracy's picture

Who do you imply is ruthless?

The one who is not the aggressor?

Normalcy Bias's picture

What I was saying is that the US is continuing to mess with parties that you probably don't want to back into a corner...

Paveway IV's picture

The original war was declared years ago - maybe around 1996. The daul-citizen mafias were at war raping the Russian people for every ruble they could get their hands on and any Soviet industry they could buy for pennies on the dollar. Putin had some hand in slowing the wholesale Jewish oligarch rape of Russia, but didnt' stop it by any means. Throwing Yukoil's head in prison was a warning to the others, it was not a purge.

Well, you can't throw the Jewish oligarch (Jewish in gang-affiliation only - nothing to do with the religion) Mikhail Khodorkovsky in prison and not expect that psychopath to go permanent full-retard. That's like pissing off a Rothschild and hoping they'll just go away mad and forget about it. Psychopaths like Khodorkovsky are easily consumed with revenge. He (and his mafia tribe) will bring down all of Russia without a second thought. He will employ the same tools every Jewish oligarch uses: banks and corrupt law.

The psychopath Khodorkovsky stole Yukoil from the Russian people - it's his personal posession. The Russian people exist to serve Jewish oligarchs like him, not the other way around. Khodorkovsky and the rest of the criminal Russian oligarchs only purpose on earth today is to punish 145 million Russians for having the audacity to take away the oligarch's spoils. If that means using Israel and the U.S. (and apparently France and Belgium) to do the heavy lifting for them, then all the better.

Take a Jewish oligarch's shit they legitimately stold from you, and you will pay the price. They never forgive and they never forget. 

YHC-FTSE's picture

This is all I needed to know about this whole story and what is happening now:

Control of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s shares in the Russian oil giant Yukos have passed to Jacob Rothschild, 4th Baron Rothschild upon his arrest.

Lore's picture

Meanwhile, the Poop urges action on "climate change."  DAMN YOU, CLIMATE!  THOU SHALT NOT CHANGE! 

"Humanity is called to recognize the need for changes of lifestyle, production and consumption, in order to combat this warming or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it." 

The planet isn't warming anymore!  Silly Agenda 21 stooge.

WHAT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE ON OTHER PLANETS?  WHAT ABOUT THE SUN?  Oh wait, that bunch actually worships Helios, right?  ...Never mind.

Paveway IV's picture

Wait - when did the Russian people AGREE to let Khodorkovsky transfer stolen Russian assets to a Rothschild? Oh... Jewish law.

Belgium and France have confiscated Russain assets to satisfy a Swiss court ruling reguarding 1.6 billion euros to a Jewish oligarch (well, a Jewish banker, I guess).

News Flash: Israel stole the assets and all future operating profits of the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline in 1979 from Iran after Iran's revolution. Because if your puppet is thrown out by the natives, you can just keep all their stuff for free. Swiss courts last month (speedy legal process) awarded Iran $1.1 billion in compensation for the stolen pipeline. This was actually last month - it was kept out of the MSM so you anti-semites couldn't beat them over the head with the thirty-year-old theft.

So I'm eagerly awaiting Belgium and France's response to THIS:

Israel refuses to comply with Swiss judgement to pay Iran $1bln

Ruling follows long-standing legal battle linked to joint venture that occurred before Islamic Revolution

 

Israel's Finance ministry is refusing to comply with a Swiss ruling ordering the Jewish state to pay Iran $1.1 billion in compensation, a statement released Wednesday said.

"Under the laws of trade we cannot transfer funds to an enemy country," the statement read.

I won't even wait to see the response. There is none. The Swiss ruling against Israel isn't even disputed by Israel - it was outright theft. Israel just said they wouldn't pay anything to Iran. Uh.... France? Belgium? Why so silent? Where's all the Je Suis Ahmad

How can Israeli citizens ignore their liability for a $1.1 billion dollar theft while Russian citizens have their assets confiscated to pay their oligarch rapists compensation?

COSMOS's picture

There are Russian Natural Resources...It is up to Russian courts to decide their fate.

Augustus's picture

Screw you and screw Puutie, your paymaster.

The assets are located in Russia with international ownership.

Puutie and his criminal oligarchs have now to face the consequences of theft from international owners in international courts. 

The courts in France and Belgium are deciding on the fate of assets located in those countries.  That should be just fine, using your logic.  Why should Puutie be upset?  Of course it is because he is a slav with brain illmess.

PhilofOz's picture

You truly are pathetic Augustus....and who is your paymaster, the Rothschild family? You can be sure you are at the bottom of the pile in their pecking order, taking orders as a troll. I'll bet the pay is shit too .....you have a tiny bag of tricks to play with and are getting less original by the day.

WhackoWarner's picture

So.  The whole world has to die. suffer. for the greed and madness of the few?

Have I got it?