Press-release (english version)
NOGA Shares to be Sold; Russian Federation Not Indebted to NOGA
The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation understands that all of the shares of Compagnie Noga d’Importation et d’Exportation (“NOGA”) have been ordered to be sold at public auction in Geneva to satisfy the claims of creditors of Nessim Gaon, NOGA’s sole shareholder.
In response to enquiries from interested parties as to the status of NOGA’s supposed claims on the Russian Government, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation wishes to confirm that the Russian Government today owes no money to NOGA, that the courts of New York, France, Switzerland and Sweden have all rejected Noga’s claims on the Russian Government and that the courts of France have in addition ordered Noga to pay substantial damages for the company’s wrongful attachment of Russian property.
Notwithstanding NOGA’s claim to the contrary, there is today no effective legal order, judicial decision or arbitral award recognizing an outstanding debt of the Russian Government to NOGA.
The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation also confirms that no accounts maintained in the name or on behalf of the Russian Federation are today blocked in any Luxembourg bank pursuant to the attachment order obtained ex parte by NOGA in 1993. The accounts of the three Russian banks that were attached by that order were directed to be released by a Luxembourg court more than ten years ago.
Any attempt by the purchaser of NOGA’s shares to assert a claim against the Government of the Russian Federation will be strongly resisted by the Russian authorities and, where appropriate, sanctions for abuse of process will be sought. The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation notes in this regard that French courts have recently ordered Noga to pay substantial damages in connection with Noga’s improper and unlawful attachment of Russian property in France. Similar sanctions will be sought should any new attempt be made to attach Russian property on the basis of the Russian Government’s non-existent debt to Noga.