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Moscow Hearings on Israel’s Oil Suit Reach Dead End; Lawyers Return

The Moscow hearings in Israel’s long drawn-out suit for damages caused by the Soviet Union’s abrupt cancellation of a Soviet-Israel oil supply agreement at the start of the Sinail campaign came to a dead end today.

An official Israel Government statement noted that the arbitration proceedings had been postponed repeatedly because of illness of Russian arbitrators and that an Israel proposal for a substitute arbitrator in the case of one such illness remained without reply from the Soviets.

In the statement, the Israel Government said that Israel’s attorneys in the case had returned to Moscow and that the government hoped that the possibilities of removal of the arbitration hearings would be cleared up within the next two weeks.

The government reported that the hearings were halted by the illness of one Soviet arbitrator, M. Ramazaitzev, who subsequently resigned. Israel then suggested that M. Nestrov, chairman of the Russian Chamber of Commerce, be named to replace him. While Israel was awaiting a reply to the proposal, another Soviet arbitrator was reported ill and Israel’s attorneys were instructed to return.

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