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    Equipment brought to court // Ozon was left without supplies from Lithuania

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    A Russian military sting operation in Ukraine that began in February disrupted Ozon’s long-standing partnership with Lithuanian warehouse equipment manufacturer Equinox Europe. The marketplace claims that the counterparty notified of a force majeure that does not allow deliveries. The manufacturer is trying through the courts to recover funds from the online retailer for already delivered products.

    optimizing logistics processes, in early October filed two lawsuits with the Moscow Arbitration Court against Ozon. The marketplace confirmed to Kommersant information about the lawsuit in the amount of 116 million rubles. According to the filing cabinet, the amount of the second claim is 29.5 million rubles. The general director of Equinox Rus, Vladimir Penzev, told Kommersant that the company intends to file two more claims with the court. He estimated the total amount of all four claims at €12 million (about RUB 715 million at the current exchange rate of the Central Bank).

    Equinox Europe has been supplying equipment for Ozon fulfillment centers in many regions of the country for more than ten years. According to Mr. Penzev, after the start of the military operation of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, Ozon terminated the contracts with the contractor for the supply of automated equipment ready for shipment. The marketplace has a different version: they say that in late February – early March they received several letters from the counterparty about the suspension of supplies due to force majeure caused by the worsening geopolitical situation. Kommersant has a copy of one of these letters, sent on February 28 by representatives of Equinox Rus and Equinox Europe to Ozon Povolzhye. It says about the impossibility of organizing the transportation of equipment from the warehouse from Lithuania.

    In 2022, the next deliveries of equipment were planned, as well as services for its installation and commissioning, which are performed by Equinox Europe employees from Lithuania, according to Ozon. But since the end of February, Equinox Rus stopped supplying the equipment stipulated by the contract, so Ozon, after three months of negotiations, decided to terminate the contract with the contractor.

    Vladimir Penzev, in turn, says that Ozon did not pay the contractor for the delivered and launched equipment, its maintenance, and also for the delivery of spare parts. In particular, we are talking about equipment for the Ozon warehouse in Novaya Riga in the Moscow region, where a fire broke out in August, the top manager adds. In turn, Ozon notes that the counterparty did not complete the work stipulated by the contracts on setting up and starting up the equipment, since all the technical personnel were taken out of Russia by the company. that the claims of Equinox Rus can be recognized as justified if the contract establishes a staged payment: part for the supply of equipment, and the other part after its installation. At the same time, the expert believes that Ozon can accrue a penalty and recover damages from the contractor for violating the terms of equipment installation, for example, through a counterclaim. If all the procedural aspects are observed when filing a claim, the court cannot refuse to accept it, says Oleg Khmelevsky. Vegas Lex Kirill Nikitin. At the same time, according to him, recently there has been a trend towards a decrease in the level of legal protection for foreign companies, primarily from “unfriendly” countries. However, the expert concludes, it is still difficult to say how absolute this reduction will be.

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