The Supreme Court of the Netherlands returned the case on the payment of compensation to the Russian Federation in the amount of $ 50 billion to the ex-shareholders of Yukos to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. The proceedings in the Dutch courts have been going on for 17 years.
The lawsuit was initiated by former shareholders of the Yukos oil company, which was headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2003, he and his partner Platon Lebedev were arrested and convicted on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion. The company came under the control of the state-owned enterprise Rosneft Igor Sechin.
In 2005, the nominees of 70% of Yukos shares Hulley Enterprises, Yukos Universal and Veteran Petroleum initiated arbitration proceedings in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (an intergovernmental institution established in 1899). An arbitral tribunal ruled in 2014 that the plaintiffs’ investments had been illegally expropriated by the Russian authorities. The court decided to award the plaintiffs an unprecedented compensation of $ 50 billion, but the Russian authorities refused to pay it. At the moment, taking into account the accumulated interest, the amount is about $ 60 billion.
Since 2014, Russia has been trying to annul the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, arguing that the arbitral tribunal did not have jurisdiction to consider a dispute on the basis of the multilateral Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), which the plaintiffs resorted to. Russia signed this treaty in 1994, applied it temporarily, but did not ratify it due to objections from the State Duma, and in 2009 it officially withdrew from the ECT.