23:28 GMT +317 January 2020
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    A French bailiff accompanied by a police convoy on Thursday seized a building belonging to a Russian real estate agency, despite a diplomatic protest, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — The building is the property of Goszagransobstvennost, a Russian agency that manages residential and non-residential Russian state-owned real estate property abroad. It was seized in order to compel Russia to repay billions of dollars in compensation to shareholders of the now-defunct oil firm Yukos.

    The international news agency Rossiya Segodnya, which leases the building under an open-end contract, said it was not directly involved in the seizure since it had no real estate in Paris.

    "We are not talking about an arrest of a Rossiya Segodnya building, since the agency has none in the French capital… Our journalists are working as normal, the demands of the French bailiffs do not concern them," the news agency said.

    A Moscow court declared Yukos bankrupt in 2006. Russia’s oil company Rosneft then bought about 80 percent of the Yukos’ assets, in a move that its shareholders described as illegal.

    A court in the Hague awarded three companies, belonging to former Yukos co-owners, $50 billion in compensation from the Russian government. The court warned Moscow that, if necessary, the debt would be recovered through the seizure of real estate.


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    France, Rossiya Segodnya, Paris, Russia
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