State Duma Ratifies Russia-Palestine Agreement on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments


Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexey Gruzdev presented to the plenary session of the State Duma a bill On Ratification of the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the State of Palestine on Promotion and Mutual Protection of Investments.

The agreement was signed during the visit of Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev to Palestine, on November 11, 2016. The validity period of the document is 15 years with the subsequent automatic renewal for 5 years.

Alexey Gruzdev says that the potential of trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Palestine has not been fully realized. Mutual trade turnover is still insignificant amounting to US$2.3 million in 2016. "The agreement is designed to create a framework for implementing investment cooperation and facilitate growth in commodity supplies," the Deputy Minister said.

He noted that Russian companies were interested in collaboration for exploring and developing oil and gas fields and considering the possibility of building versatile house-building enterprises. In addition, business communities in both countries are interested in creating medical production companies.

The agreement provides for the principle of non-discrimination, most-favored-nation treatment and national treatment for investments (with the possibility of imposing exemptions), as well as payment of fair compensation, for example, in the event of expropriation or nationalization of capital investments. In addition, it stipulates unimpeded transfer of investors' income from the investment-receiving state if investors have fulfilled all of their tax obligations, the mechanism for settling investment disputes, the procedure for investors’ applications to international arbitration, as well as procedures for intergovernmental consultations and dispute settlement.

The agreement is subject to ratification, since it includes some provisions that are not covered by the Russian laws.

The deputies of the State Duma have passed the bill by majority votes.