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The Hague Court of Appeal Ordered Russia to Pay $ 50 billion in a Lawsuit by Yukos Ex-Shareholders
February 18, 2020 16:55


(Source: https://www.forbes.ru/newsroom/biznes)

The Hague Court of Appeal ordered Russia to pay $ 50 billion in a lawsuit filed by former Yukos shareholders. The dispute between them has been going on for 15 years and is not over yet - Russia will appeal the decision in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.

The Hague Court of Appeal ordered Russia to pay $ 50 billion in a lawsuit by Yukos ex-shareholders, Reuters reported. “There are no doubts - we will appeal to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. There are three months to appeal - naturally, we will meet these deadlines,”  Andrei Kondakov, director of the International Legal Protection Center, representing Russia’s interests in this case said.

According to him, the court did not agree with the main argument of Russia - that the Hague arbitration did not have the right to consider the dispute between Yukos and Russia under the Energy Charter Treaty.

The Justice Ministry said that the decision of the Hague Court of Appeal did not comply with the position of the European Court of Human Rights. “The Russian Federation will continue to uphold its legitimate interests and, in a cassation order, will challenge the verdict issued by the appellate court in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands,” the statement said on the website of the agency.

According to the Ministry of Justice, The Hague Court of Appeal has ignored the fact that the former Yukos shareholders "were not bona fide investors." The agency believes that control over the assets of the oil company was obtained through illegal actions, including conspiracy and bribery of officials. 

In July 2014, International Arbitration in The Hague (arbitration court) ruled that in the early 2000s the Russian side launched a full-scale attack on Yukos and its beneficiaries. According to the court, the goal of Russia was to achieve bankruptcy of the oil company and take over its assets by removing the head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky from the political arena. The plaintiff in the case were three offshore structures - Hulley Enterprises, Yukos Universal and Veteran Petroleum, both of which were part of Group Menatep Limited. GML represents the interests of former Yukos shareholders Leonid Nevzlin, Vladimir Dubov and others, with the exception of Khodorkovsky himself. They owned 70% of Yukos and lost money during its bankruptcy. The arbitration tribunal ruled that Russia should pay $ 50 billion compensation to Yukos ex-shareholders for the company’s expropriation.

Based on this decision of the Hague court, France and Belgium began to seize Russian assets abroad. Subsequently, the Russian side achieved the annulment of the arbitration court decision in the Hague District Court, which sided with Russia, noting that the arbitration court did not have the right to make a decision, since the lawsuit was not in its jurisdiction. In the same year, the former Yukos shareholders appealed to The Hague Court of Appeal to annul the decision of the lower Hague district court, demanding that the arbitral awards for payment of $ 50 billion should be reinstated. A new round of litigation in the suit of the former Yukos shareholders against Russia began in September 2019.

 




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Yukos Russia International Russian business   

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