13 February 2015, News Wires – Russian state giant hit with damages claim and legal bill over case involving subsidiary of defunct compatriot
Russia’s Rosneft acted unlawfully against a subsidiary of former private compatriot oil giant Yukos and has been hit with a legal costs bill, a Dutch court has ruled.
The state-owned oil behemoth and Russian business Promneftstroy are also both to pay damages to Yukos International following the Amsterdam District Court ruling on Wednesday.
The two companies pursued a freezing order against Yukos International, a subsidiary of ex-Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Yukos, following a 2008 award in a Dutch court.
However, the Dutch Supreme Court later overturned this award, paving the way for Wednesday’s judgement.
The Amsterdam District Court ruled that the value of damages due from Rosneft and Promneftstroy to Yukos International be assessed individually, with these proceedings possibly to take place this year.
Although legal costs were awarded to Yukos International, only Rosneft has been landed with this.
Media reports have earlier suggested that the compensation for losses sought by the Yukos subsidiary may be in excess of $330 million.
Upstream awaits a response to questions on the judgement from Rosneft, where nobody was immediately available for comment on Thursday morning.
In July a Dutch arbitration court ordered the Russian state to pay $51.6 billion in damages to former shareholders of Yukos over the alleged expropriation of the now defunct Russian oil company.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued its ruling in favour of Gibraltar-based Group Menatep, awarding the investor group just under half of its $114 billion compensation claim against Russia for seizing the company.
The panel of judges, which has been reviewing the case since 2005, concluded that officials under President Vladimir Putin had manipulated the legal system to bankrupt Yukos.
Khodorkovsky walked free from a penal colony in the sub-Arctic region of north-west Russia in December 2013 after a presidential decree to end 10 years of imprisonment.