MOSCOW, May 29 (RAPSI) – Lawyers representing interests of Russia’s VTB bank have asked the Supreme Court of the state of New York to allow the bank to notify a defendant living in the Voronezh Region Robert Martirosyan by DHL or Pochta Rossii (Russian Post) mail services, the documents available to RAPSI read on Monday.

The bank seeks to recover debt from the co-owners of Yashma group. The group’s companies are involved in the wholesale distribution of jewelry, precious stones and metals, custom jewelry and other similar products.

Earlier, the court has granted a motion filed by the bank to notify two of the defendants in the case, Igor Mavlyanov and his ex-wife Stella, by DHL and Russian Post, noting that this method is in accordance with the state legislation.

In mid-May, VTB filed a lawsuit against Mavlyanov, his ex-wife and children as well as Martirosyan and several companies registered in the United States with the sought debt estimated at about 4.9 billion rubles (about $86.7 million). The bank claims that defendants signed several real estate deals in the United States in order to deceive it. VTB seeks to annul these deals and to receive compensation for its losses by collecting funds of firms related to Mavlyanov.

The need in alternative methods for notification of Russian respondents involved in the U.S. lawsuits, both defendants themselves and other participants, arose in 2003. Back then, Russia refused to transfer the notification documents through an authorized entity – the Ministry of Justice, although it is prescribed by the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters (the Convention).

The reason for refusal lays in introduction of a special fee for processing of applications related to documents and notification, with the goal to compensate losses of a private company contracted by the United States Ministry of Justice for the processing. The fee was introduced on June 1, 2003 for all countries including Russia. Since then participants of litigation in the United States were recommended to find other ways to notify people in Russia including court notifications.