Russia hired the new York law firm of White & Case for
consultation on sale
shares of the largest Russian oil producer OAO Rosneft,
under European and American sanctions. About this
news Agency Bloomberg
citing two knowledgeable source.

In 2015 the lawyers of this firm with a representative office in Moscow,
were hired by Russia to participate in litigation with the former shareholders of Yukos. They represent in court interests of the Russian Federation, which refuses to accept the decision of the Hague arbitration on the payment of 50 billion dollars compensation.

Now the same company must try to find a way to solve the problem
sanctions applicable in respect of Rosneft and its head Igor Sechin, said one of the sources of the Agency on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been made public.

“White & Case did not violate any laws on sanctions, but for the company
it would be difficult to find a way to secure the transaction,” said Gary Hufbauer,
specialist sanctions from the Institute of world economy Peterson in
Washington. The expert believes that the big Western banks do not take
to participate in the organization of the sale of shares of “Rosneft”, because they are afraid to contact Podstantsionnaya company, although investment in it is not formally forbidden.

Press Secretary of “Rosneft” Mikhail Leontyev and the representative of White &
Case Andrew Newsham declined to comment, and a representative
The Ministry of economic development Elena laskina recalled that the head of Department Alexey
The speaker recently announced the decision to hire a legal consultant for
preparation of sale “Rosneft”, reports RBC.
The speaker in early April reported that the main shareholder of “Rosneft”,
Rosneftegaz, has selected the legal Advisor for privatization of shares
“Rosneft” but declined to name the company, clarifies the Agency.

“Washington’s sanctions do not prohibit U.S. citizens, including legal
firms to provide specialized services to the Russian government, –
said the representative of the U.S. Treasury. – We have not imposed sanctions against
the government of Russia. We believe it is necessary to note that
U.S. citizens will break the law if they facilitate the transaction to which
U.S. citizens may not have direct relationship”.

The state owns 69.5% of Rosneft via Rosneftegaz.
Slightly more than 10% of the company’s shares traded on exchanges in Moscow and
London. Sale of stake of 19.5% oil companies included in the plan
privatization till 2016. In February the first Vice-Premier Igor Shuvalov
signed the Directive on preparation for privatization of a package, said RBC
sources in the government. The Russian government expects
to bail out of shares of “Rosneft” at least 500 billion rubles
(about seven and a half billion dollars).

“A few months ago the US administration is thoroughly pressed
banks that have been thinking about the participation in the organization of a possible
placement of Russian sovereign bonds, said Peter Harrel,
former Deputy assistant Secretary of state for sanctions. – White
the house has sent banks a clear signal to the brand, making it clear that he
considering the participation in the underwriting as contrary to
foreign policy interests of the United States”.

From April 2014 in relation to the head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin apply personal sanctions of the United States. Americans are prohibited to join him in business relations. In 2014 in respect of “Rosneft” were imposed “sectoral sanctions” designed to prevent a company’s supply technologies and equipment for advanced deposits – shale, offshore and Arctic. In September 2015 the subsidiaries of “Rosneft” officially spread
the same sectoral sanctions on the parent company. Restrictions
touched and access to Finance – the company was forbidden to take and
to place securities in the U.S. market more than 90 days.
Similar sanctions against the company has also introduced the EU. President
“Rosneft” Igor Sechin in 2015, complained,
that the sanctions have complicated the work and “practically made it impossible
the attraction of new financial resources on the international markets”: “It,
certainly influenced the capitalization”.

At the end of February 2016 assistant to the President and Chairman of the Board
of Directors of “Rosneft” Andrei Belousov told journalists that
the only way the privatization of the company – sale of shares
strategic investor with the maximum premium to the market, and such
work is being done.

Russian companies defend their interests in the U.S.

In recent time, Russian companies are more actively defend
their interests in the U.S., says Bloomberg. In February 2016 “Sberbank”
hired two lobbying firm: the Podesta Group, founded by former head
the administration of bill Clinton and campaign Manager
Hillary Clinton Tony Podesta, and The Madison Group of
base of the U.S. Senate. In the notice Podesta Group
it is noted that the company “will provide assistance in matters
clarification of the scope of the sanctions…, assess opportunities for reducing
sanctions and monitoring significant events associated with the
“. Investment “daughter” of “Sberbank”, Sberbank CIB, in
April confirmed RIA
the existence of an agreement with the Podesta Group.

VTB attracted a Washington lobbying firm Manatos & Manatos (M&M)
to uphold the interests of the Bank in issue financial sanctions of the USA,
the disclosure in the electronic database of the American Senate. The subject
lobbying is specified as “the action of the legislative or Executive
the branches of the U.S. government that affect the adoption of U.S. sanctions
against Russia involving the banks.” In addition, VTB uses
the services of the law firm Sidney Austin and claims that “the signing of such
contracts exclusively connected with the promotion of business interests
VTB group in the United States.” “The decision on the hiring of external consultants is to
we are part of standard business practice,” – said in comments

Gazprombank in respect of which are also sanctions, in I
quarter of 2016 paid 150 thousand dollars law firm
Squire Patton Boggs, and in 2015 is 600 thousands dollars for lobbying
interests in Washington.

For consultations on privatization of “Rosneft” hired by the law firm representing Russia in the “Yukos case” in the court of the United States 13.04.2016

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