Russia wins partial victory in $ 50 billion proceedings against bankrupt oil giant

The Hague, the Netherlands β€” Friday’s Supreme Court of the Netherlands sued what appears to be the world’s largest award in an arbitration case after accusing a former shareholder of bankrupt Russian oil giant Yukos of dismissing Kremlin, at least a temporary victory Was handed over to Russia. A company that silences the CEO, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin.

This decision further extends what was already a years of court battle between Russia and former Yukos shareholders. It abandoned the lower court’s ruling, effectively laying away the $ 50 billion ruling given to former shareholders in 2014, and in Amsterdam to consider Russia’s allegations that shareholders committed fraud in the first arbitral trial. I sent the case to another court.

However, the Dutch Supreme Court dismissed Russia’s remaining allegations. A former shareholder said, “We won for all substantive reasons for Russia’s appeal.”

“We will consider the Supreme Court’s decision, but we are confident that the Amsterdam Court of Appeals will dismiss the groundless allegations made by the Russian Federation and the arbitral award will be upheld,” GML’s Supreme Court said. Chief Executive Officer Tim Osborne said. Former Yukos majority shareholder company.

The Russian prosecutor’s chief welcomed the decision, but said the High Court did not completely dismiss the decision.

“The Russian Federation hopes that the Amsterdam Court of Appeals will interpret the remaining controversial issues in accordance with international law and take comprehensive steps to protect the rights and legitimate interests of Russian taxpayers. “We are doing it,” the agency said in a statement.

The International Commission of Arbitrators concluded in 2014 that Moscow took control of Yukos in 2003 and deliberately put the company at a disadvantage with a huge tax credit. The move was seen as an attempt to silence Putin’s voice critic, Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Khodorkovsky spent more than a decade in prison after being shot and arrested in 2003 and selling Yukos’ key assets to a state-owned enterprise. Yukos eventually went bankrupt.

“We have launched a full-scale assault on Yukos and its beneficiaries to bankrupt Yukos and allocate its assets while at the same time excluding Mr. Khodorkovsky from politics,” the arbitrator said in a 2014 ruling. ..

The original proceeding was filed under the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which is headquartered in The Hague. As a result, Russia has appealed to an arbitral award in the Netherlands.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled on Friday that The Hague’s Lower Court of Appeals erroneously dismissed Russia’s allegation that “shareholders committed fraud in arbitral proceedings” for procedural reasons.

Sergei Alexhin, a Paris-based lawyer and international arbitration expert not involved in the case, said Russia “has actual ownership or control of Yukos’ majority shareholders. It is alleged that he made a false submission because he illegally concealed a person. ” statement. “

“The Amsterdam Court of Appeals needs to carefully analyze the merits that are the substance of these serious claims,” ​​he added. “They are really serious claims.”

This process, which includes the possibility of further appeals on fraud issues, can take several years.

In April, an independent adviser to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands recommended that the judge dismiss Russia’s appeal altogether.

Khodorkovsky is not involved in a case filed by a former shareholder integrated into a company called GML Ltd.

Mike coder

Associated Press