KARINA KRASNOVA, being duly sworn, deposes and says:
1. I am an attorney duly licensed to practice law in the Russian Federation. My registration number is 78/857. My specialty is a matrimonial and family law.
2. I have been licensed by the Appellate Division, 2nd Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York as a legal consultant from Russia pursuant to Section 53(6) of the Judiciary Law of the State of New York, as limited by Part 521 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. I am often called to testify in the United States courts as an expert on Russian laws. Attached hereto as “Exhibit 1" is the document indicating same.
3. My clients consist of individuals of all nations who need representation in Russia in matrimonial matters.
4. Article 36 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation contains a definition of the separate property of the spouses. According to the law, the property received by a spouse during the marriage as a gift, inheritance or otherwise gratuitously is the separate property of such spouse and shall not be divided.
5. According to Art. 1, 2 of RF Law № 1541-1 “On Privatization of Housing Fund of the Russian Federation” dated July 04, 1991, privatization is a gratuitous granting of residential property from the state and municipal housing funds to those citizens of the Russian Federation who have a right to use such residential property. Those citizens of the Russian Federation who have a right to use residential premises from the state or municipal housing funds (social rent) are entitled to acquire collective ownership of such property with the consent of all other family members. Each citizen of the Russian Federation is entitled to acquire ownership of a residential premise from the state or municipal housing funds free of charge by way of privatization only once (Art. 11 of this Law). As the right to participate in the privatization can be exercised only once, many citizens withdrew from participation in the privatization in favor of their family members wishing in such a way to reserve their right to participate in privatization in the future.
6. Thus, the law expressly defines privatization as gratuitous granting of property to citizens, i.e. privatization is a gratuitous transaction and therefore according to Art 36 of the Family Code of the Russian Federation the privatized property is the separate property of the spouse in whose name it is registered.
7. It should be noted that according to Art. 2, 3 of Law № 122-ФЗ “On State Registration of Rights to Immovable Property and Transactions Therewith” dated July 21, 2012, state registration of a right to immovable property is a legal act of acknowledgment of origin, limitation, transfer or termination of a right to immovable property by the State. It is the state registration that is the only proof of existence of a registered right; and this particular fact shall be verified in order to establish the name of the owner of a particular property.
8. The legal basis of state registration are the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, and the Federal Law “On State Registration of Rights to Immovable Property and Transactions Therewith”.
9. According to Art. 131 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation ownership of immovable property shall be registered in the unified state register by the authorities that are responsible for state registration of rights to immovable property and transactions therewith. A certificate of state registration of right is issued to the possessor of the right to confirm the state registration of the right.
10. The following is seen from the documents provided:
10.1. The apartment № 1 has been owned by Tatiana and Ekaterina since February 16, 1994.
10.2. On November 17, 1993, Mikhail withdrew from participation in privatization and submitted the relevant statement. It should be noted that there is difference between withdrawal from privatization and a deed of gift. Mikhail has never been an owner of the abovementioned property, the parties to the privatization agreement were the Government of Moscow on one hand and Tatiana and Ekaterina on the other hand. Mikhail was not a party to the privatization agreement and didn’t gift any property to his wife and daughter.
10.3. Certificate dated June 19, 1996 proves that Mikhail is a member of a cooperative housing society and that he acquired ownership of the two-room apartment № 2, due to such membership. He wouldn’t have been able to become the owner of apartment № 2 if he became an owner of apartment № 1. Therefore, it is most likely that he withdrew from participation in privatization with a view to acquire other residential property from the Government of Moscow.
10.4. Certificate dated June 19, 1996 proves that the Government of Moscow compensated Mikhail for 35% of the total cost of apartment № 2n i.e. Tatiana and Ekaterina acquired ownership of the one-room apartment № 1 by way of privatization, i.e. free of charge, and Mikhail received monetary compensation from the Government of Moscow equal to 35% of the total cost of the apartment № 2.
10.5. According to the applicable laws of the Russian Federation, Mikhail has never been an owner of the apartment № 1 he has never entered into any transaction with his wife and daughter, moreover, he lost the right to use the apartment in question at the moment he acquired ownership of the apartment № 2. He must be evicted from the apartment № 1 by claim of Tatiana or/and Ekaterina.
11. So, in my professional opinion Mikhail does not have any right to the apartment № 1.