The high court has ruled in a case involving the impact of sanctions imposed upon the Russian Federation as a result of the war in Ukraine.

VTB Bank, a bank owned by the Russian state, was granted a worldwide freezing order in September 2019 against Russian businessman Dmitry Petrovich Mazurov and Manx companies Samika Ltd and Campino.

The three defendants’ assets were frozen up to a limit of £93.4m in support of a judgment obtained in Moscow.

Earlier this year, Campino, alleged by VTB to be beneficially owned by Mr Mazurov, lodged a claim for the bank to pay into court US$6million and £300,000 to strengthen a cross-undertaking in damages and as security for costs.

Its sole substantial asset, a Bombardier jet aircraft remains at an airport in Moscow having been seized by the Russian customs authority some six or seven weeks after the worldwide freezing order was imposed.

The high court heard that since the imposition of the sanctions regime in March 2022, following the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, it has proved impossible to move the jet.

Campino says that the aircraft’s value has significantly diminished and it is effectively now worthless.

In a high court judgment in August 2021, Deemster Andrew Corlett had given it permission to borrow £787,000 to discharge taxes and duties together with penalties claimed in the Russian proceedings in order to get the aircraft released.

But VTB blocked the aircraft being flown to a Bombardier maintenance facility in either the UK or Germany.

On February 14, 2022 Deemster Corlett ruled, somewhat prophetically, that it could well be prudent to move the aircraft as soon as possible as the movement of such assets out of Russian might become considerably more difficult in the not too distant future.

Russian forces began a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of that month. An urgent raft of sanctions came into force, initially from the USA and later from the UK. A Presidential Decree of Mr Putin came into effect on March 8 which prevented assets from being moved from Russia.

In his latest judgment, Deemster Corlett ruled in favour of Campino’s claims for VTB to pay $6m into court in fortification of a cross-undertaking in damages and £300,000 by way of security for costs. The $6m figure is based on the average wholesale value for that aircraft.

The Deemster said he was satisfied that, were it not for the worldwide freezing order, the aircraft would have left Russia probably well before August 2021.

He said Campino had the means by then to discharge its customs indebtedness, fly the aircraft out of Russia and continue to contest the customs debt, which it eventually successfully achieved.