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Commercial Court of the city of Moscow dismissed the claim of a bank that wanted to avoid international arbitration for the reason of sanctions

In the opinion of Partner, Head of Litigation and International Arbitration at ART DE LEX Artur Zurabian, the court overlooked some important point that could be taken into consideration by superior instances. However impartial the arbitrators might be, after adjudgement of an arbitration award, it may be the subject of analysis of a state court at the venue of the case hearing. And in this case, such arbitration shall be tied to a specific country, notes the lawyer. “Should the opponent dislike the arbitration award adjudged to a certain extent in favour of BM Bank, it will be easy for the opponent to cancel it at a state court with a reference to imposed sanctions and public policy”, - notes the expert.

Zurabian stresses that the court did not raise the question of whether BM Bank had performed any active proceedings before or after imposition of blocking sanctions on it. «Taking into consideration the fact that when assessing active proceedings of BM Bank the court refers only to sectoral sanctions of 2014, in all likelihood, this activity took place prior to the blocking sanctions. Meanwhile, if this is really so, this drastically changes the situation, in particular, in terms of access to justice», - comments Zurabian.

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