Supreme Court refers lingering Yukos case to Amsterdam Court

The lingering arbitration case between Russia and former shareholders of Yukos Oil has not yet come to an end: the Supreme Court destroys previous court rulings and refers the case to the Amsterdam Court to be reviewed and assessed again.

The Russian government was previously sentenced to pay $50 billion in damages to three major shareholders of Yukos Oil, a former oil and gas company in Russia. Russia does not want that and fought the decision to the highest court.

The Supreme Court judges Russia on one point: The Court of Justice The Hague has, for procedural reasons, wrongly ignored a statement by Russia that the shareholders would have been cheating. As a result, no judgment can be given on this point, the Supreme Court judges. The Amsterdam Court of Justice must reconsider and assess this point.

No payment obligation

Other complaints from Russia have been rejected, with which the judgment of the Hague Court remains on these issues. For the time being, Russia does not have to pay compensation on the basis of previous judgments. โ€œThere is no payment obligation from the ruling,โ€ says a spokesperson for the Supreme Court.

Fraud and tax evasion

Yukos Oil was nationalized early this century after the arrest and conviction of owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He was convicted of fraud and large-scale tax evasion in 2003 and then exiled to Siberia. Yukos Oil was then split up and integrated into state-owned company Rosneft.

According to former shareholders of the oil and gas group, this expropriation was โ€œillegal and politically motivatedโ€. They went to the Court of Arbitration in The Hague and after six years of litigation that Court ruled in 2014 that Yukos Oil was indeed illegally expropriated.

But Russia therefore did not agree and fought the decision to the highest court. Before the Hague court, Russia succeeded in reversing the decision, but on appeal, the duped shareholders were still right. The case ended up at the Supreme Court: the amount of damage has now increased to more than 57 billion dollars due to additional fines and interest rates.

Tensions

Today‘s decision comes at a time when tensions between the Netherlands and Russia are rising. For example, a Dutch judge ruled last week that a collection of Crimean gold does not return to the peninsula occupied by Russia, but should be transferred to Ukraine.

According to Russia, that is a politically motivated statement. And this week, Russia’s Volkskrant correspondent Tom Vennink expelled the country for old โ€œadministrative offenses.โ€ The tension may still rise depending on the outcome of the Yukos case, but it is not that far.