The Commercial Court of Moscow has ruled to return Bashneft’s stocks owned by Russia’s largest publicly traded holding Sistema to the state.
It satisfied the request of the prosecutors who insisted that the privatization deal had been fraught with violations.
Sistema purchased Bashneft from the son of Bashkortostan’s former leader. According to the police, that son privatized the assets illegally and laundered the funds by selling this major oil company to Yevtushenkov’s Sistema at what they claim was a lower price.
According to the corporate press release, “Sistema's management believes that the acquisition of BashTEK group was legal and transparent. The company is fully cooperating with the investigation and intends to use all legal means to defend its position.”
Rumours around the detention include Rosneft’s push to buy Bashneft at a cheap price to ramp up its production capabilities amid sanctions limiting Igor Sechin’s plans to develop offshore fields.
Rosneft, and its CEO Igor Sechin personally, strongly rejected the allegations but many still compare the Yevtushenkov case with the trial of another Russian oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Author: Mikhail Vesely