Former shareholders of the Russian oil company Yukos may continue to claim 57 billion dollars in damages from Russia.
The Russian state asked the Supreme Court to suspend the payment of that compensation as long as an appeal case is still pending with the highest judicial body in the Netherlands. That request was denied.
Yukos was one of Russia’s largest oil and gas companies. The company was nationalized at the beginning of this century after the arrest and conviction of its owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who went behind bars for fraud and large-scale tax evasion.
After the nationalization of the company, it was sold in parts to competitors. The former shareholders were left empty-handed.
In an arbitration case, which took place in The Hague, the Russian government was ordered in 2014 to pay $ 50 billion in damages to three significant shareholders. Russia succeeded in reversing that decision at the court in The Hague, but on appeal, the affected shareholders were proved right again.
Because Russia protested again, the case is now with the Supreme Court. The substantive treatment will start next year, and a decision is not expected until the end of 2021.
According to the Supreme Court, the chance that Russia will be right is not significant enough to wait with payment. Due to additional fines and interest, the damage amount has now risen to more than 57 billion dollars.