THE HAGUE, February 5. /TASS/. Russia demanded that arbitral awards on payment of more than $50 bln to former shareholders of Yukos be annulled. Rob Meijer, Russia’s lead counsel in the Dutch cassation proceedings, voiced the demand in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands on Friday.
"Both, the awards and the judgment have to be set aside or annulled. It is impossible to think otherwise," he said.
Meijer stressed that the decisions of the arbitration were made in error. In particular, one of the arguments of the Russian Federation is that the country had signed the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), but had not ratified it. Therefore, it was applied on a temporary and selective basis to the extent that it did not contradict the current Russian legislation.
The Russian side also repeatedly drew attention to the fact that Yukos shareholders have no right to use modern protection mechanisms, since the privatization of the company was accompanied by deception, corruption and tax evasion.
The international arbitration, created through the mediation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, after 10 years of consideration of the case in 2014 ordered Russia to pay more than $50 billion to companies associated with former Yukos shareholders: Yukos Universal, Hulley Enterprises and Veteran Petroleum.
The judges considered that the actions of the Russian Federation in relation to Yukos violated the Energy Charter Treaty, which the country signed but did not ratify. The Russian side appealed to the fact that certain provisions of the document could not be applied to it without completing the ratification procedure.
This verdict was appealed in the District Court of The Hague, which sided with Moscow, declaring the arbitration awards invalid in April 2016 and removing Russia's obligations to pay the said amount.
However, in February 2020, the higher instance - the Hague Court of Appeal - overturned the district court's verdict and reinstated the arbitral awards, obliging the Russian Federation to pay more than $50 billion. In May 2020, it became known that Russia had filed a cassation appeal against this decision to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.