A foundation protecting the interests of Russian investors in foreign countries has taken Lithuania to the Paris-based ICC International Court of Arbitration, seeking compensation for damages suffered by Vladimir Antonov, Snoras' majority shareholder, due to the nationalization of the bank by the government, Lrytas.lt reported on Tuesday.
© DELFI (K.Čachovskio nuotr.)

The damages are preliminary put at 1.1 billion euros, the online news site said.

Finance Minister Vilius Sapoka confirmed to BNS that Lithuania had been notified about the action brought with the ICC.

"We received that petition last week, on Friday. We are currently looking into the arguments. We have a month to reply," he said.

According to Lrytas, the Russian foundation hired the US law firm Alston and Bird to represent it in the dispute.

In 2016, Antonov brought an action against Lithuania with a Moscow arbitration tribunal, seeking over 500 million euros in damages for the bank's nationalization. However, the proceedings were discontinued after Lithuania exercised its right to jurisdictional immunity under international law.

Snoras was nationalized back in late 2011.

Last January, Lithuanian prosecutors completed their pre-trial investigation in a case where Antonov and Raimondas Baranauskas, another former shareholder and CEO of Snoras, are suspected of large-scale misappropriation and embezzlement of the bank's assets.

British courts ruled in 2015 to extradite Antonov and Baranauskas, who then lived in London, to Lithuania, but the men fled the UK and were granted asylum in Russia.

It is believed that both men now live in Russia, which refuses to provide legal assistance to Lithuania.

BNS
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