Moldova wins case for termination of airport concession

An airplane is seen on the runway after landing in the background of Chisinau International Airport, Moldova, September 27, 2016. Photo: EPA/DUMITRU DORU

Moldova has won a lawsuit brought before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce Arbitration Court by the Cypriot offshore company that manages Chisinau International Airport, Komaksavia Airport Invest Ltd.

Komaksavia requested in 2020 compensation of more than 883.7 million euros after the Public Property Agency of Moldova, APP, terminated on July 8, 2020 the 49-year contract for the concession of assets and land related to Chisinau International Airport.

The Moldovan authorities justified this decision by claiming that the company had not fulfilled its investment commitments of the contract signed in 2013, which amounted in 2020 to 66.2 million euros.

“The Stockholm court rejected these claims and ruled that Komaksavia had made no investment in the assets of Chisinau International Airport, Justice Minister Sergiu Litvinenco said on Wednesday evening.

Komaksavia Airport Invest Ltd holds a 95% stake in Avia Invest, the company that manages Chisinau airport, granted in 2013 by a controversial decision by the government of former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca.

Before becoming the Cypriot offshore Komaksavia Airport Invest Ltd, the company was registered in Moscow until September 2016 under the name Komaksavia OOO.

The Attorney General’s Office announced late last month that former Prime Minister Iurie Leanca was facing a criminal investigation into the airport concession case after prosecutors summoned him to hearings on July 22.

Leancă was Prime Minister at the time the airport concession contract was signed.

The chairman of the board of Avia Invest was controversial oligarch and runaway politician Ilan Shor.

Shor was convicted at first instance in the ‘big billion dollar robbery’ case and was seen as the mastermind behind the robbery of three private Moldovan banks between 2012 and 2014, which the National Bank of Moldova guaranteed .

At the same time, the Court of Arbitration of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce awarded Moldova compensation of 216,678.75 euros for the costs of the international arbitration proceedings.

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