08 April 2014, News Wires – Ukraine is set to seek compensation over the loss of natural resources and other assets worth an estimated $10.8 billion as a result of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, according to a report.
Ecology & Natural Resources Minister Andriy Mokhnyk said on Monday that Ukraine had lost assets including 198 fields and 380 prospects, as well as a number of business, in the territorial expropriation by Russia.
“Ministry staff have assessed the market value of the resource base for Crimea. According to preliminary estimates, it was 127 billion hryvnias ($10.8 billion),” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.
He said Ukraine now intended to file compensation claims in international courts to recover the value of its lost assets.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula could ultimately cost Kiev “hundreds of billions of dollars”.
The region is home to offshore driller Chernomorneftegaz and Russia has put Crimea’s reserves at 47 million tonnes (371.3 million barrels) of oil and 165.3 billion cubic metres of gas, news agency RIA said.
Russia took over Crimea, home to its Black Sea Fleet, shortly after Ukrainian protesters toppled pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovich in February.
Moscow said it was protecting its compatriots there from nationalists from western Ukraine, but the country’s new leaders accuse Russia of waging a political campaign against them, using trade and the economy as weapons.