MOSCOW, August 25 - RAPSI, Alyona Yegorova. The Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals is set to hear on September 19 an appeal filed by VTB Bank minority shareholder Alexey Navalny of a lower courts dismissal of his lawsuit against VTB-Leasing, Clusseter limited, and Well Drilling Corporation for the invalidation of a drilling rigs purchase, the court told the Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI).

Navalny contested a July 26, 2007 contract between the defendants for the purchase and subsequent leasing of 30 drilling rigs. Navalny argued that the transaction caused $160 million in losses.

On July 15, 2011, the court dismissed Navalnys suit, deciding that the statute of limitations had expired in August 2010. It also found that Navalny failed to prove his standing for bringing the suit.

VTB-Leasing is fully owned by VTB Bank. VTB Bank is Russia second-largest bank serving mainly corporate clients. The state owns 85.5% of its shares.

Well Drilling Corporation is a Russian company. In his application to the Interior Ministry, Navalny stated that, according to the tax inspectorate, the company was registered on May 22, 2007, only two months prior to the drilling rig transaction.