The Supreme Court of the Netherlands accepted Russia’s complaint against the decision in the Yukos case

The Russian Ministry of Justice challenged the decision of The Hague Court of Appeal to pay $57 billion to former shareholders of Yukos. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands is the final authority that can block the decision to pay compensation.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands registered Russia’s complaint against the decision of the Hague Court to pay $57 billion in compensation to former shareholders of the Russian oil company Yukos, the Ministry of Justice reported on its website on Friday, June 19. The report says that The Hague Court made “numerous legal errors in the interpretation of the provisions of international law” and the Russian Ministry of Justice insists that the Dutch Supreme Court should take into account “numerous evidence of fraud by the former Yukos shareholders”.

In July 2014, the International Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague concluded that Russia had illegally nationalized Yukos and ordered Russia to pay out $50 billion in compensation to its former shareholders. In 2016, Russia obtained the setting aside of the award of The Hague Arbitration, but on 18 February this year the Court of Appeal of The Hague ruled that Russia should pay $57 billion to the former shareholders of Yukos.

The Russian Foreign Ministry then called the ruling politically motivated and promised to seek its annulment. At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Justice then stated that it did not consider the former Yukos shareholders to be bona fide investors and accused them of gaining control over their assets through bribes.

The last instance

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands is the final authority that can still block a decision on compensation already considered by several international courts. The Russian oil company Yukos was established in 1993 and from 1995 to 2005 was among the 10 largest companies in Russia. On August 1, 2007, Yukos declared itself bankrupt. During 2007, the company’s property was sold at auctions to cover its debts. In the same year the company was liquidated.

From 1997 to 2004, Mikhail Khodorkovsky was co-owner and head of Yukos. In 2003, he was arrested on charges of embezzlement and non-payment of taxes, after which he was sentenced to prison. In 2013, Khodorkovsky was released. He described his 10-year imprisonment as “payment for financing political parties that opposed Putin”.

After his release, Khodorkovsky founded the opposition movement Open Russia to protect people whom the state “pursues for their views, political and social activities.