Slovakia has been summonsed by a Dutch court over its purchase of a 49-percent stake in national oil pipeline operator Transpetrol. Representatives of the Yukos International, the rump of a now-defunct Russian oil giant, from which Slovakia purchased the shares in 2009, asked the Amsterdam District Court in late 2011 to order ABN Amro Bank N.V. to unfreeze and transfer Slovakia’s payment of USD240 million to its account, the SITA newswire reported on Wednesday, January 18.
Slovakia transferred the payment to an escrow account pending the settlement of court disputes. Representatives of Yukos International are also asking the court to order Slovakia to recognise its right to dispose of the purchase sum, on pain of a €10-million fine.
Economy Minister Juraj Miškov said, as quoted by the Sme daily, that the Transpetrol shares are firmly in the hands of the state and that it is now necessary to transfer the funds to the seller of the shares. The minister stated that the money for the 49-percent share package was being kept in accounts at the ABN Amro bank but have not been paid to Yukos yet because Yukos has a legal dispute with ABN Amro. A final verdict in the case is expected to be delivered by the end of January, Sme wrote.
Sources: SITA, Sme
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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