MOSCOW, March 1 – RIA Novosti. The Eighteenth Arbitration Court of Appeal (Chelyabinsk) upheld the decision of the lower instance, which, at the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office of Russia, demanded 95.72% of ordinary registered shares of Bashkir Soda Company JSC (BSC) from illegal possession in favor of the state.
As follows from the information in the file of arbitration cases, the Court of Appeal on Friday rejected the complaints of two defendants – JSC Bashkirskaya Khimiya and OOO Trading House Bashkirskaya Khimiya, as well as the BSC itself against the decision of the Arbitration Court of Bashkiria adopted in December, after which it entered into legal force.
The court of first instance demanded more than 947 thousand shares of BSK from Bashkirskaya Khimiya, more than 634 thousand – from Regional Fund JSC, more than 4 thousand – from Bashkirskaya Khimiya Trading House. The court ordered the registrar of Registry JSC to write off the shares from the accounts of the defendants and credit them to the account of the Federal Property Management Agency.
The court in Ufa agreed with the arguments of the Prosecutor General's Office that the privatization of the Bashkir enterprises “Soda” and “Kaustik”, on the basis of which the BSC was later created, took place in the early 1990s in violation of the law, in particular, without the knowledge of the person responsible for the privatization of the federal body – the State Property Committee of Russia. “Neither during the privatization of the Soda Open Society, nor during the privatization of the Caustic Open Joint Stock Company, the State Property Committee of Russia did not take appropriate decisions,” the court noted.
BSK attracted attention due to its attempt to develop shihan Kushtau. After the protests of eco-activists, the work was stopped. Bashkirian authorities gave the mountain the status of a specially protected area, and the company said it would continue to develop Mount Shakhtau below groundwater.
At the end of August 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the owners of BSK, pointing out that the money earned by the company is not invested in the region, but is withdrawn by shareholders to their foreign accounts. He instructed the government of the Russian Federation, together with the leadership of Bashkiria, to investigate in detail the situation around the BSC, and the prosecutor's office to check the legality of the transaction, as a result of which state control over the republic's soda industry was lost. The claim of the Prosecutor General's Office for the reclamation of the shares of BSK was submitted to the Bashkir Arbitration Court on August 31, 2020.