Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - 11:50
Russia wins appeal against biggest ever $50 billion arbitration ruling
On Wednesday a court in The Hague overturned an arbitration ruling which stated that Russia had to pay 50 billion dollars in damages to the former owners of collapsed Yukos Oil Co., Bloomberg reports. According to the court, the judges who ruled that Russia had to pay damages to the Yukos owners, were not qualified to review the dispute. They also misinterpreted a treaty that Russia signed, but never ratified. The ruling was the biggest arbitration ruling ever made. Yukos, owned by billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovski, used to be the largest oil producer in Russia. But the relationship between the company and the Russian rulers disintegrated when Khordorkovski tried to merge with oil company Sibneft in 2003. Yukos and its owner were found guilty of fraud and tax evasion. Khodorkovski always maintained that the charges were revenge by the Kremlin for his funding of opposition parties. Yukos collapsed amid billions of dollars in tax claims and the owners were left empty handed. This ruling is a victory for Russia in a more than 10 year old fight between the country and the oil company. GML Ltd. - a holding company owned by the former Yukos owners - plans to appeal the decision. "This is a victory for the rule of law and justice has prevailed, Andrey Kondakov, general director of the International Center for Legal Protection, which is coordinating Russia's defense, said after the ruling. "This will contain the movement in Russia to reject international law because it turns out that it can be beneficial", Gleb Pavlovsky, former political adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin, said to Bloomberg. "At the same time, this solution should soften the image of a hostile West."