A Russian Arbitration Appeals Tribunal has ruled that state-run oil giant Rosneft must provide information on its 2009 board meetings to minority shareholder and blogger Alexei Navalny, who has consistently called for greater transparency in Russian business practices.
The ruling follows an earlier decision by the Moscow arbitration tribunal in August 2010, which obliged Rosneft to provide without restriction the protocols of board of directors' meetings.
Rosneft officials declined to comment on the court's decision. Navalny's lawyer Dmitry Volov told journalists that the company would be unlikely to provide Navalny with protocols related to the extended competence of the company's board of directors when it approves decisions by the Rosneft management board.
"Possibly, this will only be the date, number and signature while the content will be a secret," Volov said.
Rosneft's lawyers included documents regulating shareholders' access to the company's information in the case file during the court hearings.
On February 14, a Moscow Arbitration Court ruled in favor of a similar claim filed by Navalny against Russia's pipeline monopoly Transneft and obliged the company to provide him with protocols of its board of directors' meetings for 2009-2010. The Ninth Arbitration Appeals Court will examine Transneft's appeal against the judgment by the lower court on April 20.
In 2010 Navalny filed lawsuits against many of Russia's largest companies. He later withdrew suits against Inter RAO UES power utility and Sberbank after they provided information he requested as a minority shareholder.
Navalny also demanded the revocation of 16 decisions by the board of directors of energy giant Gazprom related to the approval of deals with its banking arm Gazprombank, and insurer Sagas, which is also a subsidiary, the Russian Agricultural Bank and several other companies.
MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti)