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Europe’s human rights court decision on Yukos case cannot be binding — justice minister

December 17, 2014, 14:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On Tuesday, the ECHR rejected Russia’s appeal against the July 31 verdict forcing Moscow to pay almost €1.9 billion ($2.4 billion) in damages to shareholders of defunct oil giant Yukos
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Vyazovoi

MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. Moscow will study the decision of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) to uphold a verdict in favor of former Yukos shareholders against Russia, although it cannot be binding, Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov said on Wednesday.

“We are forced to accept it. There is nothing we can do about it,” he said. “As you know, the ECHR decisions are non-binding and in general, this is the good will of a country which is member of the Council of Europe,” the minister added. “Life will later show to what degree this can be implemented,” he said.

On Tuesday, the ECHR rejected Russia’s appeal against the July 31 verdict forcing Moscow to pay almost €1.9 billion ($2.4 billion) in damages to shareholders of defunct oil giant Yukos, on the basis of their complaint considered back in 2011.

The court said it had identified violations of Article 6 (right to fair trial) of the European Convention of Human Rights, committed when Russian courts in 2000 considered a number of issues of Yukos taxation, because the company did not have enough time to prepare arguments in its defense.

In comments, Russia’s Justice Ministry said on Tuesday all further action in connection with the pronounced ruling will be taken proceeding from the need for ensuring Russia’s sovereign interests and rely on the norms of the national legislation, including the Constitution.

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