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France court releases RIA Novosti Account

[JURIST] A French court released a bank account belonging to Russian news agency RIA Novosti [media website] Friday. The account was frozen in January [JURIST report], along with other accounts belonging to several Russian state organizations. The court ruled that the state news agency was a separate entity from the Russian government and should not be liable for state debts. The court ordered Switzerland's Compagnie Noga d'Importation et d'Exportation, SA (Noga), which had pressed for the freezing of assets, to pay 15,000 euros in compensation. RIA Novosti has more.

Last week, another French court unfroze a Russia Central Bank account [RIA Novosti report] for similar reasons. The January decision to disable the accounts stemmed from Noga's claim over a food-for-oil contract formed between Noga and Russia in 1991-1992, just after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

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