Rinat Akhmetov Takes More Legal Action Against Russia
Ukrainian billionaire businessman Rinat Akhmetov officially began arbitral proceedings against Russia last month in a bid to claim compensation for losses as a result of asset seizure by the Russian Federation.
Last year, Akhmetov stated in June that he was exploring his options for commencing legal action to recover billions in losses. “As the owner of Azovstal and many other industrial facilities that have been targeted by the invading Russian armed forces, Mr. Akhmetov seeks to ensure that Russia is held accountable for the destruction it is wreaking across Ukraine,” an official statement said.
What Rinat Akhmetov Is Claiming
Under these proceedings, Rinat Akhmetov is claiming losses caused to him between 2014 and 2017 as a result of interference in his business and the expropriation of assets by Russian-controlled terrorist groups, including the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic.
These assets include dozens of companies in real estate and the mining, metals, and energy sectors. The proceedings will focus on the Yenakiiv Metallurgical Plant, DTEK Rovenkiantratsyt, and DTEK Sverdlovantratsyt, in addition to the Kirsha educational and training base and Donbass Arena, which Akhmetov spent more than $400 million to construct.
“These assets, as part of the SCM Group, were involved in such a diverse range of industries and activities as metals and mining, football, energy, and real estate,” said a press release published by the System Capital Management Group investment company, which is owned by Akhmetov.
Said Akhmetov, “Russia must be punished for its crimes against Ukraine and Ukrainians, which have been counted since 2014. Therefore, I am filing a claim for full compensation from the aggressor country for all the losses we have suffered since 2014 in the illegally occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Justice must be restored, and the aggressor must be held accountable both financially and in the criminal proceedings.”
In 2018, a lawsuit had already been filed with the Arbitration Court in The Hague regarding the energy assets of Akhmetov’s DTEK energy holding located in the annexed Crimea, followed up in 2022 with a referral to the European Court of Human Rights with a list of assets destroyed or seized after Russia’s full-scale invasion in February.
Akhmetov Will ‘Invest Compensation’ in Rebuilding Ukraine
If Rinat Akhmetov wins his lawsuits and compensation is awarded, he vows that he intends to use the funds to help rebuild Ukraine. In particular, to “rebuild and open new factories and plants, create jobs, and contribute to the growth of the Ukrainian economy” in Donbas where “the Donbass Arena will once again be a place for happy meetings and excitement.”
These comments follow other promises made by Akhmetov to rebuild the besieged port city of Mariupol, which was once home to many of his Metinvest Group company’s steel and metallurgical operations.
To kickstart the rebuilding of Mariupol, Akhmetov has allocated $1.5 million in funding toward what he calls a new revitalization plan. Announced in April, this plan is being developed as part of the Mariupol Reborn initiative, which was launched by Mariupol’s local government in the autumn of 2022 in partnership with SCM Group.
According to an announcement published last month, the revitalization plan is to be developed in cooperation with international partners and citizens of Mariupol by the end of 2024. The initial $1.5 million in funding will be used to develop a plan in terms of specialist training, the formation of the project office, and the deployment of fundraising initiatives.
“I believe in the future of Mariupol, which is why I am allocating $1.5 million for the construction of the Mariupol Reborn project office, which will work together with our international partners and involve Mariupol residents to create a common vision for the new Mariupol,” Rinat Akhmetov said.