Russia has been ordered to pay $50 bn in damages to shareholderes in the defunct investor-owned oil company Yukos.
The Court of Arbitration in the Hague was scathing in its judgement.
Emmanuel Gaillard is lawyer for the claimants: “The tribunal has concluded that the primary objective of the Russian Federation was not to collect taxes, but rather to bankrupt Yukos and appropriate its valuable assets. It was in effect a devious and calculated expropriatIon by respondent of … sneftogaz”.
The Hague court awarded just under half of the $114 bn claimed by the shareholders,.
After Russia forced Yukos into bankruptcy state-owned Rosneft obtained its considerable assests in series of auctions.
Russia’s Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov says Moscow will do everything it can to defend its position, which will mean further court battles before any compensation is forthcoming.
Yukos was formally controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was arrested in 2003 on fraud and tax evasion charges and released last year.
The compensation order will hurt Russia as the country is teetering on the brink of recession.