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Putin’s banker’ Pugachev files $10 billion claim against Russia

Russian Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin smiles while speaking at the State Duma, Russian Parliament's lower house, in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, April 11, 2012. Russia's president-elect Vladimir Putin says he would support a motion that barrs a person from being elected to the presidency more than twice. Putin said in Parliament on Thursday that it would be reasonable to remove the mention of consecutive terms. He said this would not affect him because such a legislation cannot be retroactive. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

Russia: President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during an opening ceremony of the MAKS International Aviation and Space Salon in Zhukovsky, outside Moscow, Russia, August 25, 2015. REUTERS/Maxim ShemetovView Photo
LONDON (Reuters) – Sergei Pugachev, a tycoon once dubbed “Putin’s banker” because of his influence in the Kremlin, has filed a claim against Russia for more than $10 billion after his business empire was carved up when he fell out of favour with President Vladimir Putin.
The claim was filed in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on Monday, a source close to Pugachev told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Lawyers for Pugachev will outline his claim against Russia on Tuesday in Paris, the source said.
It was not immediately possible to get a response from the Russian government. Russia is already fighting a separate ruling by the same court in 2014, which ordered Russia to pay $50 billion for expropriating the assets of Yukos, once Russia’s biggest oil producer and run by Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Pugachev, who helped Putin’s 1999 ascent to Russia’s top job during the last days of Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, fell out with some of Putin’s most powerful allies in the years following the 2008 financial crisis.
Since leaving Russia in 2011, Pugachev has accused Putin’s allies of bringing his multi-billion dollar business empire to its knees before picking off some of its best assets, which included major shipyards and a giant Siberian coal deposit.
Russia says Pugachev, 52, is wanted for embezzlement and misappropriation of assets after the collapse of his bank, which had gained loans from Russia’s central bank. Pugachev denies those charges.
At Russia’s request, Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Pugachev.