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On March 19, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Linklaters had advised Sovcombank on its arrangement of a RUB 5.7 billion domestic green project bonds issued by an orphan special purpose vehicle, SFO RuSol 1 LLC. We spoke to Sergei Kaduk, Executive Director for Securitization and Project Finance at Sovcombank, about the Issuance.

As announced by the Russian President on 25 March 2020, the Russian Ministry of Finance has sent an official request to the Ministry of Finance of Cyprus to modify the existing double taxation treaty (DTT) between the two countries.

Following Mr. Putin’s speech on 2 April 2020, measures promoting isolation such as nationwide non-working days and regional quarantine measures are being extended until end of April/beginning of May. This will also impact the activity of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). It can be expected that at least the measures currently implemented by FAS will be extended. So far FAS has done the following in connection with the COVID-19 epidemics.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has advised PJSC RusHydro on the sale of a 90% shareholding in JSC International Energy Corporation to OJSC Hrazdan Power Company. As part of the transaction, OJSC refinanced MEK’s debt obligations to the EBRD and the Asian Development Bank.

During his national address on 2 April, President Putin announced his decision to prolong the initial non-working days from 4 April to 30 April 2020 inclusive in order to fight against the spread of COVID-19. He signed a new Executive Order providing for this.

The Covid-19 pandemic has created new legal challenges for many businesses worldwide. However, certain aspects of privacy law still have to be complied with, despite the difficult situation in the market. This poses additional challenges to businesses struggling in the new, rapidly changing environment. Recently, the Russian data protection authority (Roskomnadzor) clarified how employers could monitor the health status of their employees in compliance with Russian privacy law.

“The Russian Government has been very active in addressing concerns of business regarding inadequate regulatory control that has been increasing over last years,” says Andrey Ryabinin, Partner at Integrites in Moscow. “Several declarations have been made in this respect. As part of the reform known as 'regulatory guillotine' the Government is expected to eliminate in 2020-2021 several thousand outdated and excessive regulations in various industries regarding technical standards and requirements in business practice, most of which date back all the way to the Soviet times.”

Under Russian civil law, a legal entity is relieved from liability for failure to fulfil an obligation if such failure is caused by extraordinary and inevitable circumstances (i.e. force majeure circumstances).

Due to the spread of COVID-19 the Russian Ministry of Labor and Social Protection and the Mayor of Moscow recommended all employers to switch to home office work where it is possible.

During an address to the nation on 25 March, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced anti-crisis measures to support Russian businesses and individuals and to find ways to replenish the state budget. The measures applicable to taxation are described below.

Stetom, the recently rebranded firm previously doing business as Sterbatomashvaskaya, has advised Skoda Transportation on its entrance into a joint venture with Sinara-Transport Machines. The joint venture company, Sinara-Skoda, will be based in St. Petersburg, and will produce trams, trolleybuses and subway kits for the Russian market.

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