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Dutch Supreme Court to consider Russia’s appeal over $50-billion award to former Yukos shareholders

The Dutch Supreme Court has accepted Russia’s cassation appeal challenging a ruling by the Hague Court of Appeal ordering Moscow to pay $50 billion to the former shareholders of the oil company Yukos, Russia’s Justice Ministry announced on June 19. 

According to the Russian Justice Ministry, the court will now consider the merits of the Russian side’s “arguments about numerous legal errors committed by the court of appeal in interpreting the provision of international law and the unlawful refusal to take into account evidence of fraud [committed by] Yukos’s ex-shareholders.”

In 2014, The Hague Arbitration Court ruled in the shareholders’ favor, finding that the Russian government illegally nationalized Yukos. The Dutch Supreme Court is the final authority that can block the compensation ruling, which has already come before several other international courts. 

In 2016, following an earlier appeal by the Russian government, the Hague District Court overturned the arbitration court’s award to the former Yukos shareholders, finding that arbitrators did not have jurisdiction to consider the Yukos case. In February 2020, however, the appellate court reinstated the award. The Russian government filed its appeal to challenge the decision in the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in May 2020.

The latest legal effort by Yukos shareholders to collect the $50 billion in compensation took place in May 2020, when a Dutch court seized the local rights to the well-known vodka brands “Stolichnaya” and “Moskovskaya,” which are owned by the Russian state enterprise “Soyuzplodoimport.” The seizure is effective in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. 

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