Victor Vekselbergom: Mikhail Klimentyev / RIA Novosti
Cyprus company of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg Lamesa Investments Limited are unable to receive interest on the loan, which gave the British Bank a Cynergy because of U.S. sanctions. This writes belongs to Grigory Berezkin the RBC with reference to the decision of the High court of Wales.
According to him, Lamesa Investments provided the Bank with a loan of $ 37 million in 2017 — then the British Bank belonged to Bank of Cyprus in which the structure of the Russian oligarch was one of the largest shareholders. In mid-2018 Bank of Cyprus has sold the British assets, and by September 2019 at Cynergy accumulated debt to the lender for unpaid interest in the amount of $ 4.5 million.
The Bank explained that you can’t pay the interest structure of the Russian oligarch, as this would contravene U.S. law and would cause the Bank damage. The fact that the credit institution has its dollar-denominated assets, and in the case of doing business with a Russian businessman from sanctions list, they can be frozen. The court sided with credit institutions and recognized him as the legitimate solution.
At trial, the Bank said it did not refuse to pay the interest, and just close the accumulated debt after there is no risk to fall under the secondary US sanctions (for example, when the oligarch will exclude from the list, or he will sell Lamesa). The Bank referred to the fact that default is not a breach of contract in the case where the transaction cannot be carried out because of obligations before the law.
As the newspaper notes, the precedent of the company Vekselberg is dangerous for other Russian entities targeted by the sanctions. De facto, the court found that the foreign borrowers may not fear liability for non-payment, if the borrower is under us restrictions and a risk of being under US sanctions for cooperating with him. The court decision also actually legislated the obligation of non-us companies to follow the secondary U.S. sanctions.
Viktor Vekselberg was in the U.S. sanctions list in April 2018. This greatly affected the value of its assets and has led to significant risks for all businesses. At the end of 2018, he petitioned the US government asking to lift restrictions.
Video, photo All from Russia.