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MOSCOW, October 20. /TASS/. Former shareholders of defunct oil company Yukos will soon send claims to German, UK, US, Dutch and French courts to confiscate Russian assets in Europe and the US to reclaim damage incurred during nationalization of the company, Der Spiegel reported Monday, citing investors’ lawyer Tim Osborne.
On July 28, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that Russia must pay a US $50 billion compensation to Group Menatep Limited, which unites former Yukos owners, approving their claim that the oil company was expropriated by the government.
In case Russia refuses to pay for the damage, the EU countries can confiscate Russian property, including payments for gas that local power producers owe to Gazprom.
Moscow will try to annul the court’s decision, Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said earlier.
In 2003, the Russian government accused management of then major oil company Yukos of financial crimes. Several company officials were sentenced to jail for fraud and tax evasion. Its core owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was jailed with several consequential sentences and spent 10 years in prison before he was pardoned by president. The company later declared bankruptcy, and its assets were sold to the state-owned oil major Rosneft.