MOSCOW, February 2 (RAPSI) – The Moscow Commercial Court is set to hear on February 16 arguments in a lawsuit brought by AFK Sistema that is seeking $1.4 billion in damages from Ural-Invest over forfeiture of Bashneft stock, RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Monday.

The court rejected motion filed by Ural-Invest to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing. Ural-Invest representatives explained that the motion was based on Sistema’s refusal to settle the issue out of court. Ural-Invest is controlled by former Bashneft CEO Ural Rakhimov.

Bashneft was controlled by the government of Russia’s Bashkortostan region until 2003, when a major stake was sold to companies affiliated with Ural Rakhimov, son of the former head of Bashkortostan Murtaza Rakhimov. The company was privatized in 2009 when Russian oil-to-telecoms conglomerate AFK Sistema gained control of it.

A court in Moscow ruled that privatization of Bashneft was held in violation of law. The Prosecutor General's Office brought a suit to return 71.6 percent stake in Bashneft back to the government. The Moscow Commercial Court ruled on October 30 in favor of the Prosecutor General's Office.

Rakhimov was charged in absentia with embezzlement and money laundering, put on the international wanted list.