15:19 GMT +323 October 2018
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    First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov

    Russia Hires Lawyers Over ‘Unlawful’ Seizure of Assets Abroad

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    Russia has hired lawyers and legal experts to defend its case regarding the seizure of its assets abroad, the country’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said Friday.

    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Russia considers the seizure of its assets abroad illegal, Igor Shuvalov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 television.

    "We do not recognize such actions as lawful. In states where such procedures are initiated, law firms have been hired. These are highly skilled lawyers."

    Earlier this week, Belgium, France and Austria seized Russian state-owned property in connection to a lawsuit by former shareholders of the now defunct Yukos oil company.

    Yukos which used to be controlled by former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was declared bankrupt by Moscow's Court of Arbitration in 2006. Former Yukos managers claim that Russian authorities had illegally forced the company out of business in order to obtain its assets. In July 2014, a court in the Hague order Russia to pay $50 billion to former Yukos shareholders.

    "We will, relying on the independence and impartiality of OECD countries' judicial system, try to reach a just solution," Shuvalov said.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Russia would reply to the seizures of its assets abroad in a reciprocal way.

    Related:

    Russia to Launch National Court Cases Over Seizure of State Assets Abroad
    Lavrov Promises Reciprocal Response to Seizure of Russian Assets Abroad
    Rossiya Segodnya Confirms No Agency Property Seized in France
    Tags:
    property, assets, Yukos, Igor Shuvalov, Russia
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