Dutch Supreme Court may deliver judgment in Yukos case by late 2021
On Friday, hearings were held on Russia’s cassation appeal against the ruling of the Hague Court of Appeal dated February 18, 2020, which upheld the arbitral awards in the Yukos case issued in 2014, obliging Russia to pay $50 billion
MOSCOW, February 5. /TASS/. The Supreme Court of the Netherlands may deliver judgment on Russia’s complaint against the previous court’s decision obliging the country to pay $50 billion to former Yukos shareholders by the end of this year, a representative of Russia’s Justice Ministry told reporters on Friday.
On Friday, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands held hearings on the cassation appeal of the Russian Federation against the ruling of the Hague Court of Appeal dated February 18, 2020, which upheld the arbitral awards in the Yukos case issued in 2014, obliging Russia to pay $50 billion.
“The decision of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands on the cassation appeal of the Russian Federation can be made before the end of 2021,” the Justice Ministry’s official said.
Speaking in court on Friday, the lawyers of the Russian Federation presented key arguments about the serious flaws in the arbitral awards, ignored by the Court of Appeal.
“First of all, the defense drew attention to the fact that the Russian Federation could not be considered bound by the arbitration clause contained in the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) in conditions when this international treaty had not been ratified. Only the Russian parliament could (by its decision on ratification) extend the jurisdiction of international arbitration to relations between the Russian state and investors, as directly follows from the text of the ECT. The admission of the provisional application of the provisions on arbitration in the ECT contradicts both the norms of international law and the basic principle of separation of powers, which is an integral part of any civilized legal order,” the ministry’s official said.
Moreover, the ECT cannot protect so-called investments, which in fact constituted funds withdrawn from the Russian Federation for its subsequent laundering and tax evasion, and the plaintiffs’ shell companies cannot be regarded as foreign investors subject to protection in international arbitration.
Providing protection to so-called investments made by plaintiffs as a result of illegal actions during the privatization of Yukos and the subsequent withdrawal of shares and money through a network of shell companies registered in offshore jurisdictions is contrary to the public order of the Netherlands and the European Union, as well as international treaties in the field of combating corruption and legalization of criminal proceeds, the lawyers argued.
The representatives of the Russian Federation stressed that the issues of interpretation of the ECT are subject to transfer to the court of the European Union, as they relate to the interpretation of EU law.
“The Russian Federation shares the concern existing at the level of many EU countries that the modern system for resolving investment disputes, instead of protecting genuinely foreign investments, is increasingly being used to consider de facto domestic tax and administrative disputes, while arbitration tribunals go beyond the established competence,” the Justice Ministry said.