There is no political lobbying in Russia - expert on Berezovsky vs. Abramovich dispute
MOSCOW, December 2 - RAPSI. There is neither political lobbying in Russia nor there is a legal framework to regulate such activities, Russian legal expert Mikhail Rozenberg said while testifying in Berezovsky vs. Abramovich case in the London High Court of Justice.
"Lobbying does not specify, does not define anything in the context of Russian existing legislation," Rozenberg said. He maintained there is no legal framework to regulate activities of individuals who push for desirable political decisions and lobby favorable political changes.
The court began hearing Berezovsky's $5.5 billion lawsuit against Abramovich on October 4. Berezovsky seeks compensation for assets he was allegedly forced to sell to Abramovich between 2000 and 2003. The lawsuit was filed in 2007.
Boris Berezovsky claims in his lawsuit that Roman Abramovich intimidated him and his business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili into selling a number of assets, including a 43-percent interest in the Sibneft oil company and a stake in the Rusal aluminum group, at a fraction of their value.
Abramovich challenged the statement that Berezovsky owned stakes in these companies. Chelsea football club owner said he paid millions of dollars to Berezovsky only for political protection.
Mrs Justice Gloster became concerned in whether there is a "political lobbying" in Russia or not.
Meanwhile Rozenberg acknowledged that oligarchs occasionally provide financial support to politicians in Russia thereby raising suspicions as to their true intentions.
Abramovich earlier agreed that he asked Berezovsky for political protection after he realized he would have never retained control over Sibneft oil company without Berezovsky. Abramovich said Berezovsky was "a water breaker who settled all troubles."
Abramovich also said that Berezovsky has become an influential political figure in Russia following 1996 presidential elections and actually turned into a major business political leader in Russia. Abramovich admitted that Berezovsky was "a water breaker who settled all troubles" for him.
According to another Russian legal expert Ilya Rachkov many Russian influential businessmen lobbied financial interests in 1990s and Boris Berezovsky was not the only one who did it, there was a certain market for these lobbying services.