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A Chinese company is interested to invest in the 5G technology implementation in Moldova

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The Chinese company ZTE is interested in investing in the implementation of the 5G technology in the Republic of Moldova. This is what the representatives of the company announced today, during the meeting with the Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip.

The 5G technology is the fifth generation of mobile communication that will provide higher upload and download speeds, broader coverage, a more stable connection, as well as, higher energy savings and lower costs.

ZTE Corporation is one of China’s leading telecom equipment manufacturers, conducting its business in over 160 countries and having about 75,000 employees.

It is important to mention that several countries such as New Zealand, USA or Australia refused to implement the 5G technology through the services and the telecommunication equipment provided by the ZTE and Huawei companies, as they consider it could significantly raise the national security risks. The Chinese companies consider these decisions unfounded.

press release by the Government of Moldova mentioned that the ZTE representatives presented their investment plans, noting that the Government actions encourage new investments. “Our interest in coming to Moldova derives from the stability and attractiveness that you have created for your business environment,” they mentioned.

Photo source: gov.md

The prime minister welcomed the investors’ intention, highlighting that the development of new technologies and the implementation of large-scale projects in the Information and Communication Technology sector represent a priority for the Government, as they boost entrepreneurial activity and create new jobs for people. “You will have all the necessary support and the openness from the Government team. If we work in the same direction, we will see the expansion and development of the ZTE company in our country,” the prime minister said. At the same time, Pavel Filip spoke about the actions of the Government aimed at improving the business climate and attracting foreign investments in the strategic economical sectors.

Photo source: gov.md

Photo source: gov.md

Economy

Komstroy ready to recover Moldova’s contested energy debt by all means, including in the US

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Komstroy intends to recover Moldova’s energy debt from 1999-2000 by “all legally available means”, the company’s lawyers from AGG wrote in an email to Moldova.org.

Even though an appeal decision might be made by the Paris Appeal Court at the end of this month, Komstroy is not constrained to wait for the court’s decision and could enforce the D.C. Court decision from 23 August 2019 in the United States:

Accordingly, Komstroy has full right to enforce judgment of the U.S. court in the United States against relevant Moldovan assets. Moreover, under U.S. law, Komstroy has full right to demand disclosure of financial information from financial institutions and business partners with which Moldova maintains commercial relations.

Responding to Moldova’s Justice Minister calling the $58 million claim a typical “scheme” to milk the state budget, Komstroy’s lawyers insisted that its predecessor, LLC Energoalliance, provided electrical energy in the context of harsh economic conditions for Moldova:

It is unfortunate that Energoalliance’s contribution to Moldovan economy is now questioned. Komstroy strongly denies that there was anything illegal with its power supply structure.

In addition, Komstroy calls the Moldovan government to the negotiating table.

Back in 2013, an ad-hoc arbitration tribunal concluded that Moldova had violated an investment commitment under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) by not paying debts owned to Komstroy’s predecessor (LLC Energoalliance- based in Ukraine) on the deliverance of electric power in 1999-2000. Thus, the Moldovan government was allegedly owing around $46,5 million. The tribunal’s decision was disputed by the Moldovans at the Paris Court of Appeal, which subsequently ruled in 2016 that the ad-hoc tribunal “misinterpreted the subject debt as an “investment” under the ECT” (Case No. 14-cv-01921 (CRC)).

According to sic.md, LLC Energoalliance is associated with the more-than-controversial oligarch Veaceslav Platon and his involvement in the even more famous Russian Laundromat.

Here are the full answers from Komstroy’s lawyers to Moldova.org’s questions:

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Economy

Moldova likely to pay $58 million debt to Platon-associated energy company, case returns to Paris Appeal Court

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The government of the Republic of Moldova is likely to be obliged to pay a $58 million award to Komstroy, an Ukrainian energy company closely associated to now-imprisoned oligarch Veaceslav Platon.

As Law360 reports, the award was reconfirmed by the U.S. District Judge Christopher R.Cooper on 23 August, when Moldova was rejected the claim that it had “been denied due process” in an arbitration case within an ad-hoc arbitral tribunal in Paris. Back in 2013, the tribunal concluded that Moldova had violated an investment commitment under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) by not paying debts owned to Komstroy’s predecessor (LLC Energoalliance- based in Ukraine) on the deliverance of electric power in 1999-2000. Thus, the Moldovan government was allegedly owing around $46,5 million. The tribunal’s decision was disputed by the Moldovans at the Paris Court of Appeal, which subsequently ruled in 2016 that the ad-hoc tribunal “misinterpreted the subject debt as an “investment” under the ECT” (Case No. 14-cv-01921 (CRC)). In its attempts to find recognition of the tribunal’s decision, Komstroy asked the D.C. Court to examine the case, even though the French Cassation Court returned the case to the Appeals Court in 2018.

Notwithstanding the ongoing proceedings in Paris, the US Court ruled in late 2018 that the award can be enforceable and more importantly, its amount could be increased to nearly $58 million, considering the exchange rate from the award date.

After the ruling on 23 August, Gene M.Burd, attorney for Komstroy, told Law360 that it’s “pleased” with the US Court’s decision to determine the Paris ad-hoc tribunal’s right and scope to act upon the role demanded by Moldova and the Ukrainian energy company.

Moldova’s Justice Minister, Olesea Stamate, rushed (on 11 September, when the US court decision got out into the wild) to explain that the payment of the award can be enforceable only after the Paris Appeals Court issues a final ruling at the end of the month. As quoted by Ziarul de Garda, Stamati dismissed Komstroy’s claim as a a “scheme that was applied by some persons to milk the public budget”, describing the debts as “bogus”, “sold at double price”. In addition, the Minister announced that Moldova contested the US court decision.

As Sic.md explains in a fact checker, Moldova’s problems began back in Paris, where lawyer Victor Volcinschi was reportedly defending the position of the Ukrainian company instead of the Moldovan side. Additionally, the new law firm, Bukh Law Firm, subcontracted in December 2018, was not paid between February and April 2019 by the previous Democrat government, putting the whole defence at risk.

According to sic.md, LLC Energoalliance is associated with the more-than-controversial oligarch Veaceslav Platon and his involvement in the even more famous Russian Laundromat.

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Economy

A mission of the International Monetary Fund led by Ruben Atoyan is coming to Moldova

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A mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) headed by Ruben Atoyan will be on an official visit to Chisinau from June 26 to July 10, 2019, writes ZdG.

According to an IMF press release, the mission will hold talks with the authorities in the context of the revision of the IMF-funded program under the Extended Fund Facility (ECF) and WFP arrangements. The mission will analyze recent economic developments and progress in program implementation, as well as update and assess the macroeconomic outlook and discuss with authorities about macroeconomic policies in the coming period.

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