Russian businessman’s $642 mln claim against Lithuania dropped
MOSCOW, October 28 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Commercial Court has dropped a lawsuit filed by Russian businessman and former co-owner of the Lithuanian nationalized bank Snoras, Vladimir Antonov, demanding collection of more than 40 billion rubles ($642 million) from Lithuania, the plaintiff’s lawyer told RAPSI on Friday.
Earlier, Lithuania’s authorities petitioned for dismissal of Antonov’s application without prejudice or termination of the case. The defendant insisted that Lithuania had legal immunity, in accordance with a bilateral treaty signed with Russia.
Antonov sought to collect more than 20.2 billion rubles ($324.5 million) in compensation from Lithuania for property damage and over 19.9 billion rubles ($320 million) in business reputation damage. Moreover, the plaintiff demanded to declare illegal information distributed by the country’s president Dalia Grybauskaite, who had criticized performance of Snoras managers before nationalization of the bank, and published in online media in 2011, accordinf to court papers.
Snoras was part of Antonov's Convers Group. The Convers Group held 68.10 percent of the bank and another 25.3 percent was held by Baranauskas.
In addition, the government of Latvia also announced that the Krajbanka bank, currently on the verge of bankruptcy and 60% owned by Antonov, would be nationalized.
Antonov has been charged by Lithuanian authorities with embezzlement of EUR 565 million, forging documents and fraudulent accounting and put on the European wanted list. Antonov and his partner Raimondas Baranauskas, were arrested on November 24, 2011 in the United Kingdom and put in detention but later they were released on bail. Antonov left the United Kingdom trembling for his life. He could face up to 10 years in Lithuania's prison if convicted.