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Russia’s justice ministry satisfied by Dutch court ruling on Yukos lawsuits

May 18, 2016, 11:41 UTC+3 ST.PETERSBURG

The ruling will allow suspending the implementation of court decisions in the case in the United Kingdom and the United States

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© Fedor Savintsev/ITAR-TASS

ST.PETERSBURG, May 18. /TASS/. Russia’s Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said on Wednesday his ministry is satisfied by the decision of The Hague district court in April to quash a $50 bln award Russia had been ordered to pay to former shareholders of the now-defunct Yukos oil giant.

The ruling will allow suspending the implementation of court decisions in the case in the United Kingdom and the United States.

"We are satisfied that our legal position has found understanding of the judges. It is early to say that the decision is final, it may be contested in the court of appeal by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands," Konovalov told a briefing during the St. Petersburg economic forum.

Review of verdicts on Yukos case abroad to take up to two years

According to the minister, the review of judicial decisions on claims of the Yukos oil company shareholders in foreign jurisdictions that have taken for enforcement the ruling of a Dutch arbitration court may take up to two years.

"I think that even in the countries that have been trying to launch the process of recognition of the decision of The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration, such as the UK, the United States, we had expected the process to take from six months to a year, but now it will take more time. We believe that these processes will be suspended at least until a final decision is made first by the court of appeal and then by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. I think that it will take 1.5-2 years", he said.

"In the countries that have recognized the judgements - France and Belgium - we continue the legal battle in open court proceedings, the hearing dates are scheduled for this year. We will defend our interests," Konovalov said.

The Hague District Court overturned in April a Permanent Court of Arbitration’s award of more than $50 billion that Moscow was ordered to pay in 2014 to the former majority shareholders of Yukos that was once Russia's largest oil producer.

 As the Dutch district court ruled, the arbitration tribunal misinterpreted Europe’s Energy Charter Treaty, which Russia signed but never ratified.

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