Lithuania's sanction-hit phosphate fertilizer producer Lifosa has appealed to courts against the Finance Ministry's decision to appoint Finance Guru as its interim administrator.
© Bendrovės nuotr.

A special panel of four judges of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania ruled on August 10 that Lifosa's appeal can be heard by an administrative court and sent it back to Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.

"The dispute concerning the selection and appointment procedure of the interim administrator, which also includes the verification of the candidates' compliance with the requirements, falls within the scope of this administrative dispute, and can therefore be examined by the administrative court," according to the ruling.

In its appeal, Lifosa says that the finance minister's order on the appointment of Finance Guru is unlawful as it violates fundamental rights and runs counter to the Constitution, the Treaty on European Union, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Lifosa's accounts were frozen after the EU on March 9 imposed sanctions against Andrei Melnichenko, a Russian oligarch close to the Kremlin. The Kedainiai-based phosphate fertilizer manufacturer suspended operations on April 10.

On May 24, Finance Guru, an insolvency administration company, and its partners started working as Lifosa's interim administrator, tasked with ensuring the company's operations without breaching the international sanctions.

Lifosa is 100 percent owned by Swiss-registered Eurochem Group, in which AIM Capital, a Cyprus-registered firm of Melnichenko, holds a 90 percent stake.

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