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Baturina Seeks $1Bln Damages

A company owned by Yelena Baturina, the wife of former Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and one-time real estate magnate, is suing the Finance Ministry for 33.6 billion rubles ($1 billion) for the loss of income associated with the dispossession of part of its property in Moscow.

“The action is for compensation of damages suffered due to the loss of 16.4 hectares of land at the crossing of Starovolynskaya and Minskaya streets [near Park Pobedy],” Baturina’s representative Gennady Terebkov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

Baturina’s company, Territorialnaya Direktsia Setunskaya, acquired the land in 2003 and planned to use it for a 14-story multifunctional building with four underground floors and parking capacity for 6,743 cars, a project that never got off paper.

In 2010 the prosecutor general claimed that the federal land had been reserved in the 1990s for embassies from 12 countries, including China, India, Cuba and Afghanistan.

In 2011, after then-President Dmitry Medvedev’s 2010 decree firing Baturina’s husband from his position as mayor, the ownership of the land was challenged by the Federal Property Management Agency.

In 2011, Baturina lost her position at the top of Moscow’s real estate market. In the same year, she sold out of her giant real estate development company, Inteco, which was valued at $1.2 billion.

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