Dutch court rejects Russia`s appeal of USD50bn Yukos prize

(MENAFN) In a significant development, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal has dismissed Russia's latest legal challenge in the high-profile Yukos case, upholding the enforcement of a USD50 billion award to former shareholders of the now-defunct oil company. The ruling is the latest chapter in a decade-long legal saga stemming from the collapse of energy giant Yukos in 2006, once owned by ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, over unpaid back taxes.

The International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, after a protracted trial, ruled in 2014 that Russia had violated its international obligations by taking actions that led to the bankruptcy of Yukos in the early 2000s. Moscow has consistently argued that the dispute with the shareholders falls outside the jurisdiction of any foreign court.

The Amsterdam court, in its statement on Tuesday, rejected Russia's claim that the shareholders engaged in fraud during the arbitration proceedings, asserting that the claim was raised too late. Additionally, the court emphasized that even if the claim had been considered, it would not have altered the verdict on the arbitration award. The ruling concluded that the arbitration awards remain in force.

The 2014 arbitration tribunal had ordered Russia to pay USD50 billion in compensation to the former controlling shareholders of Yukos, including Hulley Enterprises and Veteran Petroleum in Cyprus, and Yukos Universal in the Isle of Man. However, the Dutch Supreme Court later overturned the ruling, leading to continued legal battles.

The ex-shareholders, alleging that the Russian government orchestrated the company's bankruptcy for political reasons, initiated proceedings in various jurisdictions, including the United States. The latest decision by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing legal saga surrounding Yukos, underscoring the complexities and implications of the case on international law and relations.


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