The story about how the Moscow City Hall refuses to pay 5 billion compensation to the "daughter" of the state-owned VEB Development Corporation got an absurd continuation. The city first provided the development company with development land, and then took it away without damages. And now it turned out that the government also plans to collect rental payments for 17 years for the land, the use of which itself was forbidden by the tenant. And if the situation does not change, then I will have to look for the council on the capital’s officials in an international court, since the project was financed through foreign loans.
The first anti-corruption media spoke about the history of the confrontation between the Moscow City Hall and the Stolichnaya Podvorye company, which is owned by the VEB-RF state development corporation, in November 2019. The metropolitan administration provided the investor with a plot for the construction of a residential building on Bolshaya Molchanovka Street. The lease was concluded in 1995, and in 1998, by decision of the government, this territory was included in the natural complex, banning any construction there.
As compensation for the land alienated for state needs, OOO Stolichnoe Podvorye received from the city hall a building plot at 3 Khilkov lane with the condition that the company will settle the dilapidated house there. The company completed its part of the transaction by purchasing apartments for resettlement, but the administration refused to transfer the house into the ownership of the company. As a result, the Metropolitan Compound was unable to start building the site. Losses of the developer as a result amounted to approximately 5 billion rubles. Moreover, the courts - from the first instance to the Supreme - sided with the administration of Sergei Sobyanin.
The capital’s business ombudsman Tatyana Mineeva sided with the investor, however, the intervention of the human rights activist has not yet yielded results. Sobyanin's subordinates refuse to seek a compromise, but they have found a way to knock extra money out of the investor.
On January 23, 2020, the Moscow Department of City Property sent a claim for rent arrears to the LLC Stolichnaya Podvorye for the land plot at ul. Bolshaya Molchanovka, own. 20. The investor was informed that he has debts for the period from 1996 to 2013 in the amount of about 3.7 million rubles, including interest and late payments.
The company's general director, Stanislav Gromov, calls these requirements absurd, since it was the administration that refused to terminate the land lease agreement for 15 years, although it forbade construction there back in 1998.
“Representatives of the Stolichnaya Podvorye company could not terminate the land lease agreement on Bolshaya Molchanovka unilaterally, but repeatedly brought this issue up for discussion at the Moscow City Hall. However, we were not allowed to start construction, but they refused to terminate the lease. Why in 2020 we suddenly decided to collect payments as much as 24 years ago, I don’t know. Only the president’s words “Are you completely crazy?” Come to mind, ”Stanislav Gromov commented on the requirements of the Moscow Property Department.
So far, the head of the investing company still does not lose hope of finding a compromise with Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. In February 2020, Gromov sent another letter addressed to the mayor about "the prevailing dramatic and unfair relations between the Moscow Government and Stolichnoe Podvorye LLC."
In the appeal, Stanislav Gromov asks Sergei Sobyanin to pay attention to the cunning of his subordinates in court on a compensation claim from Stolichnoe Podvorye LLC - during the process, officials stated that the plot of land at ul. Bolshaya Molchanovka, vl.20 was not confiscated for state needs, although this contradicts the Moscow government’s own documents.
As a way to solve the problem, the construction company offers to provide her with a compensation site for the construction of a residential building. Such a compromise could cover the losses of the investor without financial costs from the capital budget.
The business ombudsman Tatyana Mineeva also intends to join the dialogue with Sergey Sobyanin. She learned about the arbitrariness of the authorities in the situation with the Stolichnaya Podvorye company at the end of 2019 during the reception of entrepreneurs in the business anti-corruption center of public procedures. According to investor representatives, Mineeva is now preparing a report in the name of Sobyanin, since human rights activists failed to resolve this issue at the level of the head of the Department of Urban Property Maxim Gaman.
If a compromise with Sergei Sobyanin is still not possible, the construction company has alternative ways to resolve the issue. One can challenge the position of the Russian Themis, who sided with the authorities of the capital, through the Prosecutor General’s Office, which has the right to make a supervisory review of the decision of the Supreme Court, which refused to consider the claim of Stolichnoe Podvorye LLC.
In addition, the dispute between the investor and the city authorities may become the subject of international litigation, since the funds of the Stolichnoe Podvorie company attracted funds through the loans from Cypriot companies, and there is an agreement on the protection of investments between the Republic of Cyprus and the Russian Federation.