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Russia ordered to pay Yukos shareholders $50 billion for violating international law

It was unanimously held that Russian authorities forced Yukos into bankruptcy.

A file lays on a desk at the European Court of Human Rights ahead of an hearing on the Yukos versus Russia case.
A file lays on a desk at the European Court of Human Rights ahead of an hearing on the Yukos versus Russia case.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

THE ARBITRATION COURT in The Hague has ordered Russia to pay shareholders of Yukos $50 billion in compensation over its seizure of the one-time oil giant, main shareholder GML Ltd said today.

Force bankruptcy

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruled on July 18 that Russia pay the claimants “in excess of $50 billion” after finding it had forced Yukos into bankruptcy and sold its assets to state-owned businesses for political purposes, the claimant’s lawyer Emmanuel Gaillard said.

The claims were brought in 2005 by Hulley Enterprises Limited and Veteran Petroleum Limited, both based in Cyprus, and Isle of Man-based Yukos Universal Limited.

The arbitral tribunals unanimously held that the Russian Federation had effectively expropriated the claimants’ assets, according to the ruling on the PCA website.

The claimants had wanted a total compensation package of $100 billion (€74 billion), four times their total investments in the now-defunct firm, to take into account what it would be worth today, plus interest.

Despite the lower award, Gaillard said that the ruling was “a great day for the rule of law”, saying that Russia had “unanimously been held accountable for its violation of international law.”

- © AFP, 2014

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