News (#10 October 2020)


US court froze execution of Trump order on blocking WeChat and TikTok

The US Federal Court has frozen implementation of an executive order issued by President Donald Trump, which has blocked operation of the Chinese messenger WeChat since 20 September.

The court noted that the order violates the First Amendment to the US Constitution which, among other things, refers to the freedom of speech.

Earlier, Donald Trump instructed a ban on WeChat and TikTok applications in the USA with reference to national security considerations. US Security Service representatives fear that the data collected by the owner of TikTok may be passed on to the Chinese government.

TikToks owner, ByteDance, has denied allegations that it is controled by or shares data with Chinas ruling Communist Party.

The scandal surrounding TikToks videosharing application came amid escalating tensions between Donald Trumps administration and the Chinese government over a number of issues, including trade disputes, protests in Hong Kong, and Beijings actions with respect to the coronavirus outbreak.

TikTok collects data intended for the user, including videos that people watch and comment on, location data, phone models, and even how people type. The application has about 800 million active users worldwide each month, most of whom are from the USA and India.

India has already blocked TikTok, as well as other Chinese programs. Australia, which has already banned Huawei and telecommunications equipment manufacturer ZTE, is also considering issuing a ban on TikTok.

EU court finally refused to lift sanctions from Rosneft

The European Court of Justice, the highest level of the EU judiciary system, has rejected the appeal filed by Russias Rosneft, which challenged the legitimacy of EU sanctions imposed on it in 2014 due to the situation in Ukraine.

On 13 September 2018, the EU Court in Luxembourg upheld the sanctions imposed by the EU Council on a number of Russian banks and oil and gas companies, including Rosneft, in relation to Russias aggression against Ukraine.

The relevant companies filed appeals against the decisions of the General Court, but the court rejected the companys appeal as a whole through its recent ruling.

The EU sanctions imposed restrictions on certain financial transactions and the export of specific important goods and technologies, also restricting access of several Russian entities to the capital market and banned provision of services required for certain oil-related activities.

Ukrhimtransamiak finally wins in tariff dispute with Russian giant

The Supreme Court of Ukraine has put an end to a lawsuit between Ukrainian SE Ukrhimtransamiak and Russian Togliattiazot PJSC over a tariff in a long-term agreement on ammonia transit across Ukraine.

A year ago Ukrhimtransamiak managed to get the arbitration award on a review of the transit tariff and aberration of all its opponents counterclaims, the economic effect of which exceeded USD 180 million. At the end of 2019 Togliattiazot PJSC appealed to Ukrainian courts to cancel the ICAC decision to change the tariff.

By its decision of 2 March 2020, the Kyiv Court of Appeal rejected an application filed by Togliattiazot. And on 3 September 2020, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal filed by Togliattiazot, and left the decision of the Kyiv Court of Appeal unchanged. A reminder that the tariff dispute has been ongoing since the end of 2016.

AMCU wins appeal against Tedis, meaning latter will pay remaining UAH 130 million fine

The Northern Commercial Court of Appeal has denied Lidertano Holdings Ltd invalidation of the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine of December 2016 to impose fines of over UAH 431 million on TEDIS Ukraine for abuse of its monopoly position.

In 2017-2018, TEDIS appealed against the Committees decision, but lost in all three instances.

After that, a lawsuit demanding the fines cancellation was filed by Lidertano Holdings Ltd, which is formally one of the founders of TEDIS Ukraine.

Earlier, TEDIS paid part of the fine, namely UAH 300 million. Following the latest court decision, the state budget should receive another UAH 131 million.

Supreme Court suspended execution of decision to collect USD 350 million from PrivatBank

On 8 September the Supreme Court opened cassation proceedings following a complaint from the Cabinet of Ministers and upheld an appeal filed by PrivatBank by suspending enforcement of the decision adopted by Pechersk District Court of Kyiv of 9 February 2017 till the end of cassation proceedings.

The Supreme Court took into account the decision of the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv of 2 September 2020, which set out an enforcement procedure in relation to the decision of Pechersk District Court of Kyiv of 9 February 2017 in the form of funds recovering in the amount of USD 347 million from JSC CB PrivatBank.

The court also noted that by applying such termination of enforcement, the court does not assess the relevancy of the cassation appeal, but only states the availability of threats to the balance of the parties interests.

A reminder that on 2 September the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv upheld a lawsuit filed by the offshore companies of the Surkis brothers against state-owned PrivatBank in relation to servicing the deposits converted into the banks capital during nationalization, the indebtedness on which the plaintiffs estimate at USD 350 million (over UAH 9 billion).

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