Russia has prepared for a protracted lawsuit with former shareholders of the Yukos oil company, writes RBC owned by Grigory Berezkin. The Justice Ministry admits that it will take years to fight.
Russia’s position was expressed by the deputy head of the Ministry of Justice and the country’s representative at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), Mikhail Halperin. According to him, the position of Moscow in the case against the former owners of the oil company is confirmed by serious arguments and “a lot of evidence.”
In particular, the plaintiffs repeatedly committed financial crimes at home: they did not pay taxes and illegally withdrew capital, and therefore they cannot be considered bona fide investors and do not fall within the scope of the agreement to the EU energy charter. Moscow also indicates that the foreign legal entities involved in the process are actually controlled by the former Russian oligarchs, which means they cannot be considered foreign investors at all.
The trial between the former Yukos shareholders, incorporated into Group Menatep Limited, and Russia lasts several years. The plaintiffs are demanding compensation from Russia for assets that they claimed were expropriated by the Russian authorities in a criminal case against the former owner of the company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The amount of compensation is 50 billion dollars.
In 2014, the Arbitration Tribunal in the Netherlands The Hague satisfied the plaintiff’s claims, but Moscow subsequently appealed. Since then, the amount of claims has increased due to interest and penalties and currently stands at 57 billion dollars.
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