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Ukraine seeks compensation from Russia for Crimea in hryvnias, not dollars

October 15, 2015, 16:40 UTC+3 KIEV
The figure is thus almost 22 times less than announced by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier on Thursday
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© TASS/Alexandr Demyanchuk

KIEV, October 15. /TASS/. Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers has specified the sum of compensations Kiev seeks from Russia for its reunification with Crimea saying that the figure is almost 22 times less than announced by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk earlier on Thursday.

"He [the prime minister] noted that in the first lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) the issue is that of the losses estimated at more than 1 trillion hryvnias ($45 billion)," the government’s press service said.

At the briefing on Thursday, the Ukrainian premier did not mention the currency saying only that "the first case sent to the ECtHR includes the sum of damages that is more than 1 trillion." The briefing discussed Ukraine’s $3 billion debt to Russia and the reporters thought the sum of compensations was also in dollars.

Yatsenyuk said Ukraine had a range of commercial and arbitration disputes against Russia including by the state companies that sustained losses and lost their property as a result of Russia’s "aggression" in Crimea, and Donbas.

"Our banks and other state companies will sue Russia in all the courts - commercial and arbitration, the process is underway," Yatsenyuk said.

Kiev has also filed two lawsuits against Russia’s energy giant Gazprom concerning the contract on gas supplies and transit. "We are ready for a legal war with Russia," he said.

The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification deals March 18, 2014.

Despite Moscow’s repeated statements that the Crimean referendum on secession from Ukraine was in line with the international law and the UN Charter and in conformity with the precedent set by Kosovo’s secession from Serbia in 2008, the West and Kiev have refused to recognize the legality of Crimea’s reunification with Russia.

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