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Federal Law No. 102-FZ dated 1 April 2020 (the “Law”) enacts a number of tax support measures applicable to Russian taxpayers, primarily those belonging to negatively affected sectors of the economy. The Law also delegates certain legislative powers relating to taxation to the Russian government.

Six CEE-based lawyers — Agnieszka Skorupinska, Jakub Podkowa, and Jakub Wieczorek in Warsaw, Natalia Kushniruk in Kyiv, Roxana Fratila in Bucharest, and Artashes Oganov in Moscow — are among the 41 worldwide that CMS has promoted to the firm's partnership as part of its 2020 round.

As already mentioned in our previous news on this topic, due to COVID-19 the Russian State Duma adopted on 18 March 2020 Federal Law No. 50-FZ according to which Russian joint stock companies (JSC) can, based on the decision of the Board of Directors, conduct annual shareholders’ meetings in 2020 via absentee voting.

In the current situation, many Russian companies, especially those with foreign investment, have found they are unable to hold their annual meetings (“Annual Meetings”) in full compliance with applicable laws. This is due to both the recent tightening of formal requirements for corporate resolutions and new restrictions on movement, meetings and business operations in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.”

Russian Knowledge Partner

Founded in 1993, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is the leading full-service law firm in the CIS with offices in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus and associated offices in the UK, the USA and Cyprus.

We advise its clients in many areas of law, including: dispute resolution in Russia and abroad, corporate law, M&A, antitrust issues, project finance and PPP, restructurings and insolvencies, energy and natural resources, property management and privatization, environment, technical regulation and industrial safety, banking and finance, intellectual property, criminal law, real estate and construction, taxation, family and labour disputes, marine and transport law, and international trade and customs.

We combine high academic qualifications, internationally acknowledged moral and ethical values, senior partners' professional experience and practical abilities with the vigour and knowledge of younger attorneys that enables thus providing clients with reliable, first-class service according to both Russian and western standards through a flexible structure.

All News about, and Legal Analysis by, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners can be found here.

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