But relations between them cooled, and Pugachev claims that since he left Russian Federation in 2011, the government first damaged then cherry-picked the best parts of his $15bn business empire that included two major shipyards, constructing military ships and icebreakers, the world’s biggest coal mine and swathes of prime real estate in Moscow and St Petersburg.
His legal professionals stated that as a twin French-Russian citizen since 2009, he was making the arbitration claim beneath a bilateral funding treaty between the 2 nations, created to guard the rights of buyers. “I refuse to be intimidated by Russia’s tactics”.
The Russian government is seeking his arrest for embezzlement and misappropriation of funds, charges that predate his own suit.
Pugachev’s lawyers said that such claims can take years but noted that Moscow is already fighting a separate ruling by the same court in 2014, when it was ordered to pay $50 billion for expropriating the assets of Yukos, once Russia’s biggest oil producer run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not commented on the oligarch’s compensation claim in The Hague court.
A greenback millionaire even earlier than the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, Pugachev based Mezhprombank, or worldwide Industrial Bank, in 1992. Peskov said the investigation into Pugachev had nothing to do with his relationship with Putin.
“Investigative or seach actions, of course, aren’t related to the extent to which there were friendly or unfriendly relations [with Putin]”, he said.
“The state steals something then has to defend its theft”, said Pugachev in an interview with the Guardian.
Mr. Pugachev has denied all of the charges against him, casting the allegations as a politically-motivated campaign and an attempt to seize his business empire.
He was concerned for his safety and had reportedly asked British authorities for protection after finding suspicious devices on his cars, according to the Financial Times. “It is not very pleasant to find black boxes underneath your auto”.
But Pugachev, who helped Putin ascend to Russia’s top office in 1999, lost favor with the Kremlin after the 2008 financial crisis. The same source said that the full details of Pugachev’s claim will be revealed on Tuesday in Paris.