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Russian Aluminum

March 31, 2003

RUSAL welcomes rejection of New York lawsuit

Russian Aluminium, the word’s second largest primary aluminium producer, today issued the following statement in response to the dismissal by a U.S. federal judge of a $3 billion lawsuit against RUSAL and 19 other parties:

RUSAL is delighted but unsurprised by this development. The main thrust of the claims had already been tried exhaustively and rejected in the Russian courts. The US claims employed colorful language and tabloid-style allegations. But U.S.District Judge John G. Koetltl’s dismissal was unequivocal: The claims did not belong in his court.

This was a case which sought to turn back the clock and return Russia’s aluminium industry to the sorry state it was in when RUSAL was formed three years ago.

Confident from the beginning that these claims would be put to rest, RUSAL has proceeded with its efforts to develop a world-class management team and an industry leader.

“Russia’s interest in adjudicating this action is far greater than any interest the United States has…The record before the Court points to nothing but forum shopping by the plaintiffs,” Judge Koetltl said. He specifically found Russia to be “an adequate alternative forum for this dispute”.

The ruling observes that the disputes between the various parties to the case had already resulted in approximately 120 legal decisions involving some 150 Russian judges. “This Court is not a court of appeals for the Russian legal system and will not act as such,” Judge Koetltl said.

“The plaintiffs would have this Court believe that there is no court in Russia that could provide a fair, uncorrupted forum for this dispute… To agree with this assertion would be to accept a mass indictment of the Russian judicial system that is not supported by the record.”

This judgment is not only good for RUSAL. It is good for international business, as it helps remove the threat of unfair and costly legal actions manipulating United States laws and courts. It is also good for Russia, as it acknowledges the strides made in the evolution of a competent legal system and judiciary in the Russian Federation.





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