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With a judgement of 14.12.2020 (court case number A40-111764/20) the Arbitrazh Court of Moscow recognised and declared enforceable a decision of an Antwerp court.

The Moscow Arbitrazh Court referred to Art. 15 para 4 of the Russian Constitution according to which the recognised principles and norms of international law are an integral part of the legal system of the Russian Federation. It further stated that the principle of reciprocity and international comity belong to these principles.

The court then phrased the remarkably general rule that even if there is no international treaty between the Russian Federation and another state about the recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions, the recognised principles of reciprocity and international comity require the recognition of foreign court decisions.

The court then referred to the fact that the applicant had provided the court with several examples of Russian court decisions that were enforced in Belgium.

The court made further reference to Art. 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights and the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the European Union.

This decision is in line with a decision of the same court of 19.06.2019, which we have commented on in our blog before. In the decision of 19.06.2019, the Moscow Arbitrazh Court enforced a Dutch decision with a very similiar reasoning. However, just a few months earlier, the very same court had refused recognition and enforcement to another Belgian decision, arguing that there was no treaty on recognition and enforcement of state court judgements between Belgium and the Russian Federation. We have commented on that earlier decision here.

So, in summary, there is still some uncertainty regarding the recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions in Russia. For Germany, unfortunately, even the principle of reciprocity will not help since German courts have plainly refused the recognition and enforcement of Russian court decisions in Germany.