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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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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

How many millionaires are there in the Republic of Moldova?

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1 760.

1760 citizens of the Republic of Moldova obtained revenues of over 1,000,000 lei in the year 2018. The total income earned by these people was 6.140,000,000 lei and the tax paid to the budget from this income is the amounted to 479.710,000 lei, the State Tax Service announced.

According to the quoted source, the highest amount of income earned by a natural person in 2018 was 83.250,000 lei.

Territorial, most millionaires are registered in Chisinau – 1384.

The youngest person in this category is 21 years old and the oldest – 90 years old.

Accordingly, the average income of a taxpayer is 49.700 lei in 2018 compared to 44.800 lei in 2017.

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