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Initiation of the First Case of the European Court of Human Rights on Forfeiture of Assets in Crimea

News date: 21 June 2016

On May 27, 2016, the European Court of Human Rights accepted for consideration the complaint of OJSC “Feodosia Shipbuilding Company “Morye” on violation of rights of the company as a result of illegal nationalization of its property in the Crimea drafted by a well-known Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm.

In particular, the Court will actually for the first time consider legitimacy of interference with the ownership right to the assets of FSC “Morye” by the self-proclaimed authorities of the Crimea without compensation of their value and violation of the company’s right to a fair trial.

Recall that the State Council of the Crimea in 2014 transferred all movable and immovable property of FSC “Morye” located on the peninsula to its property. Later according to order of Chairman of the Russian Federation Government FSC “Morye” was transferred to the Russian federal property.

“It is obvious that such arbitrary decisions of the body acting now under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation violates the property rights of the company envisaged in Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”, says co-author of application to the ECtHR Oleksandr Dementiev, lawyer at Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm.

“The company made every effort to appeal against the decisions of the Crimean authorities in the courts of the Russian Federation, however, the proceedings (quite predictably) had no effect, stated Roman Marchenko, Senior Partner at Ilyashev & Partners, asset manager of FSC “Morye”. − In such circumstances the company had no choice, but to complain to the European Court of Justice, about violation of its right to a fair trial guaranteed by Article 6 of the Convention. At this stage, the “field of battle” for the state property confiscated in the Crimea moved to Strasbourg”.

OJSC “Feodosia Shipbuilding Company “Morye” specialized in military and civil shipbuilding, in particular, creation of military and civilian boats, hydrofoils from light alloys, and hovercraft. A significant part of products consisted of warships and multipurpose boats. 100% stake in FSC “Morye” belongs to the State of Ukraine. In 2004, the Cabinet of Ministers included FSC “Morye” in the list of companies that have strategic importance for the economy and security of Ukraine, and in 2012 OJSC “FSC “Morye” was included in the list of enterprises, corporate rights of the state in which were transferred to Ukroboronprom State Concern.