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Appealing Hague court ruling in Yukos case practically impossible — Russian lawyer

MOSCOW, April 20. /TASS/. The Menatep Group Limited, which represents the interests of former Yukos shareholders, has practically no chances of appealing Wednesday’s ruling by a district court in the Hague to the effect Russia is not obliged to pay $50 billion in compensation for the company’s former shareholders, the general director of the International Center for Legal Protection, Andrey Kondakov, has said.

"Appealing the decision will be far harder now," said Kondakov, who represents Russia’s interests in court. "Should any arguments involving the Energy Charter treaty be used, our policy has been very simple and well-reasoned. Russia signed the Energy Charter treaty, but it did not ratify it. Consequently, the treaty’s provisions were applied on the temporary basis and only on the condition they did not contradict Russian legislation."

Kondakov recalled that the international arbitration article was in conflict with Russia’s applicable legislation. "It is very hard to realize how on the basis of the Energy Charter treaty it might be possible to call in question the Hague court’s decision," Kondakov said.

In 2014 the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague obliged Russia to pay nearly $50 billion to companies affiliated with former Yukos shareholders. The tribunal then ruled that Russia’s actions towards Yukos might be interpreted as expropriation of investment and a violation of Article 45 of the Energy Charter, which Russia had signed but not ratified.

Former Yukos shareholders tried to use Russian assets for the sake of enforcing the arbitration court’s decisions. Since June 2015 there have been repeated media reports Yukos shareholders were pressing for the arrest of Russian accounts and the accounts of Russian government organizations in different European countries.

A district court in the Hague declared the arbitration tribunal’s decisions void and canceled the demand Russia should pay the $50 billion compensation. The Russian Justice Ministry said the court’s decision did not lift the arrests from Russian properties and accounts abroad, but it certainly created fundamental reasons to demand the lifting of enforcement measures.

GML representatives said they would protest the court’s verdict.