Konstantin Boytsov has provided his comments to Kommersant on the situation around obtaining the status of a guaranteeing organisation

Konstantin Boytsov Senior associate

On 1 January 2020 Vodokanal was appointed as the guaranteeing organisation of the village of Novogorelovo, Lomonosov district, Leningrad region. However, in mid-January, the company filed a claim against the administration of Villoz, as it considers that the decision to grant it status does not comply with the law. In particular, in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation, the status of the guaranteeing organisation can be obtained by the company with the largest number of subscribers connected to its networks. At the same time, in 2019, the guaranteeing organisation was UZHKH MO Villozskoye SP, and in fact, water supply and sanitation services were provided by Leningrad Regional Communal Systems JSC (LOKS) connected to the networks of Vodokanal. However, since the company did not have the status of a guaranteeing organisation, its tariff for 2019 was invalidated. Currently LOKS is trying to challenge this decision in court.

The Head of the Energy and Natural Resources practice at Maxima Legal, Konstantin Boytsov, explained to Kommersant that LOKS applied for recognition as a guaranteeing organisation only a few months after setting tariffs for 2019, although this had to be done in advance. “If the controversial issues were resolved in the manner prescribed by law, applying for the status of a guaranteeing organisation of LOKS should have led to the desired result, after which it would have been possible to approve tariffs.” In addition, LOKS suggests that violations of the law when assigning this status to UZHKH MO Villozskoye SP were made; however, this is most likely not to be taken into account by the court, because the relevant decision of the local administration was not invalidated, Konstantin noted.

As for the claim from Vodokanal, which disputes its status as a guaranteeing organisation, then, according to Konstantin, the decision will most likely not lead to the protection of the interests of LOKS. “Capital construction projects in the disputed territory, although indirectly, are ultimately connected to the networks of Vodokanal, while the LOKS does not dispute the refusal to recognize the desired status and is not participating in the case”, he explained.

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