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The Hague court's ruling on Yukos final but Russia may seek annulment — expert

July 28, 2014, 20:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The court ruled that Russia’s actions against Yukos could be regarded as expropriation of investments in breach of Article 45 of the Energy Charter
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© ITAR-TASS/Boris Kavashkin

MOSCOW, July 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The Hague arbitration court’s ruling ordering Russia to pay over $50 billion in compensation to former YUKOS oil company shareholders is final and not to be contested but Russia can seek its annulment, a legal expert said on Monday.

Russia may appeal to a Dutch court asking it to annul the ruling claiming a violation of public policy rules, Konstantin Lukoyanov, who is in charge of litigation proceedings at the law firm Linklaters, told ITAR-TASS, adding that Russia could file such an appeal within ten days.

The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration has ordered Russia to pay 50.085 billion U.S. dollars in compensation to former YUKOS shareholders after examining three lawsuits filed by former stakeholders who had jointly demanded $103 billion.

The court ruled that Russia’s actions against Yukos could be regarded as expropriation of investments in breach of Article 45 of the Energy Charter, which Russia had signed in the 1990 but never ratified.

The biggest sum, $39.97 billion, is to be paid to the Cypriot offshore company Hulley Enterprises Limited related to Yukos former shareholder Group Menatep Limited (subsequently renamed GML).

The sum of $8.20 billion was awarded to another Cypriot company, Veteran Petroleum, which had acted as a pension fund for the YUKOS employees.

Compensation to Man-registered Yukos Universal Limited is $1.85 billion.

Russia will also have to compensate the complainants for their legal expenses worth $64 million within 180 days (until January 15, 2015). If the money is not paid within this period, interest will be charged initially at a rate matching the return on the 10-year US Treasury bonds as of January 15, 2015 and then every year on the corresponding date.

The lawsuit from GML, which had held more than 50% of YUKOS shares before the company’s bankruptcy, was filed in 2007. The initial sum claimed was 28.3 billion U.S. dollars which later increased to $103 billion.

Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky owned 70% of GML shares until 2003. After his arrest he transferred the shares to his business partner Leonid Nevzlin. Apart from Nevzlin, other major GML stakeholders are Platon Lebedev, Mikhail Budno, Vladimir Dubov, and Vasily Shakhnovsky (each holding 7.3-8.6% of shares).

GML officials told a news conference in London on Monday that the recourse for $50 billion compensation from Russia might be sold.

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