Rinat Akhmetov to sue Kremlin for $10 billion for ruining his assets

2 May, 07:52 PM
Rinat Akhmetov in Mariupol in February 2022 (Photo:Metinvest Group)

Rinat Akhmetov in Mariupol in February 2022 (Photo:Metinvest Group)

Metinvest, a Ukrainian steel holding owned by Rinat Akhmetov and Vadym Novynsky, is preparing court suits to claim $10 billion from the Russian Federation for losses the company has experienced in Mariupol.

In Mariupol, a south-eastern Ukrainian city and a major seaport, Metinvest owns two steel plants – Azovstal and Illich Metallurgy Plant. Both were severely damaged by the Russian offensive operation in that area.

Akhmetov, Metinvest’s majority shareholder, plans to sue the Russian Federation in court, the company’s press service has reported.

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“The pre-invasion capitalization of our two plants – Azovstal and Illich Mariupol Metallurgy Plant – were at least at $10 billion,” said Akhmetov, the press service said. “We are preparing lawsuits to claim our right to demand that Russia covers the losses that our company incurred.”

According to Akhmetov, Mariupol is definitely a Ukrainian city just it has always been during Ukraine’s history of independence.

“I have faith that our fighters will be able to protect the city, while Mariupol residents will evacuate,” Akhmetov said. “I also have faith that Russian soldiers will be punished for those crimes they committed in Ukraine and Mariupol. The situation in the city is horrible – it’s a tragedy and pain that no one can pretend not to notice.”

When asked about the underground storage facilities at Azovstal plant that’s been a focus of Russian operation, Akhmetov said: “The bomb shelters were built as a part of the plant’s infrastructure, in 1933.”

Metinvest, prior to the statement by Akhmetov, started buying out its own debt from the capital market as it depreciated, according to Artem Shcherbyna, asset manager at Concorde Capital, a Ukrainian investment company.

Ukraine’s Armed Forces General Staff warned that the Russian army might start pressuring Kryvyi Rih, a city in central Ukraine that hosts several major steel assets and the birthplace of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Metinvest owns assets in that city that are part of Metinvest Kryvyi Rig, one of the holding’s business units.

Ukrainian steel exports heavily depend on the sea ports and logistical capacities of Ukrzaliznytsya, Ukraine’s state-owned railway operator. While Ukrzaliznytsya continues its work, with most of its office workers present at the corporate headquarters in Kyiv, some sea ports are blocked – in Mariupol and Odesa.

The Bulgarian government has made an offer to Ukraine to send its exports via the Bulgarian port of Varna, which is a part of the Black Sea economic ecosystem. However, Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov said that Varna’s port is designed to work with agriculture products

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