As the "Kommersant", Russia lost lasted nearly a decade judicial process, initiated by the former shareholders of Yukos. The arbitration court in The Hague found that Russia violated the Energy Charter, and in fact acknowledged the oil company expropriated. Group Menatep Limited (GML), which represents the interests of Leonid Nevzlin, Vladimir Dubov and other (Mikhail Khodorkovsky has traditionally distanced from the process), demanded compensation for $ 114 billion, but the court has assessed the loss at about $ 50 billion. "Kommersant" sources called the decision political, and believe that Russia will try to cancel it. In GML ready to put means to recover it by force.
Chapter GML Tim Osborn on Friday, ITAR-TASS reported that this morning will be published the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, at the suit of the former shareholders of Yukos Russia. Sources "Kommersant", familiar with the process told the court that on July 18 unanimously decided to satisfy the claim of GML, admitting that Russia had violated the Energy Charter Treaty (international document adopted in 1991 as a political declaration on energy cooperation, supported pageAnami the EU and a number of other states; in 1994 it was signed a legally binding agreement, which cited law investment in the energy sector) and expropriated the assets of Yukos. GML estimated their losses at $ 114 billion, but it was awarded $ 50.02 billion. In addition, Russia should pay the costs of litigation in the amount of $ 65 million. Representatives of the parties yesterday to discuss the court decision did not. Sources "Kommersant" explain that the parties have agreed not to comment on the situation until the results were announced on July 28, taking the time to get acquainted with more than 500-page decision. The two sides "Kommersant" believe that Russia will in any case try to appeal the verdict.
The trial began in 2005. In 2003, the government has put forward against Yukos charges of tax evasion, the president and main shareholder Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested (convicted of fraud in 2005, pardoned and released in December 2013). At the end of 2004 through the auction for 263 billion rubles. ($ 9.3 billion at that time), the main asset of Yukos' Yuganskneftegaz "(now owned by" Rosneft ") was sold. In 2005, Mikhail Progressrkovsky sold to the partners share in GML, and she began to control 70.5% of Yukos. From all the litigation around the company businessman has since distanced himself, last week, its representatives claimed that the current process, Mr Khodorkovsky is irrelevant. Owners GML considered Leonid Nevzlin, Vladimir Dubov and others.
The trial GML has represented Cyprus Yukos Universal and Hulley Enterprises (direct owners of Yukos shares), then joined Trust Veteran Petroleum. As an arbitrator chosen Russian American Stephen Schwebel, GML - Swiss Charles Poncet, a third judge appointed Canadian Yves Fortier. Russian interests are protected by US Cleary Gotlieb and Baker Botts, a GML - French Shearman & Sterling. When filing a claim GML has estimated its losses at $ 28.3 billion, but then the demands have increased. In the process, says a source, "Kommersant", the Russian side is trying to "pay more attention to the facts" and of GML "created image". "In Russia there were almost no witnesses of GML have - a lot and all politicized", - says one of the "Kommersant" interviewees. In particular,the court, in addition to Leonid Nevzlin, were top managers of Yukos Jacques Kosyusko-Morizet, Frank Rieger, Bruce Misamore, Steven Theede, and even a former Russian presidential aide Andrei Illarionov.
According to sources, "b", in fact the process is divided into two stages. Until 2009, Russian representatives were trying, on the one hand, to prove that this Court can not in general be considered a claim of GML, and on the other - that the country has not violated the Energy Charter. In the first case it was a question that citizens can sue her only in its courts, that is, in this case, Russian. The Energy in 1994 signed by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, the State Duma but it was never ratified.
The document used on a "temporary basis," said representatives of the Russian Federation, that is, only in parts which are not contrary to the Constitution of the Russian Federation and other Russian laws. "But neither the argument of the Russian side was not heard then the feeling that once the Russian Federation was found guilty.", - Said one of the "Kommersant" interviewees.
As a result, in 2009 the Court began its consideration of the merits, in fact accept the fact that Russia is obliged to prto change the Energy, said the source "b". At this stage, the representatives of GML argued that the tax claims against Yukos, which had led to its bankruptcy (bankruptcy proceedings completed in 2007), "have been shown in order to select the company." Russian lawyers have argued that the expropriation (Art. 26 Energy Charter protects the investments in the energy sector by governments of claims) was not, and there were legitimate reasons for the bankruptcy of Yukos. GML gives examples of the transition "Yuganskneftegaz" under the control of "Rosneft", arguing that the direct benefit obtained from this state. The court found the actions of the Russian authorities, "a full-scale attack on Yukos and its owners with a view to bankrupt the company", although agreed that she was trying to evade the full payment of taxes through the "shell" structure in Mordovia.
At the same time, highlight the source "b", the court has not considered one of the articles of the Energy Charter, according to which decisions on tax disputes should take governments where registered company (Russia, the UK and Cyprus), calling it "a waste of time." Saasushat experts on Russian tax court refused, determined to understand the fiscal system on their own, although he admitted the lack of self examination on this issue. The court did not take into account the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on two similar claims Yukos shareholders (see. "Online") of the Russian Federation of fair compensation for non-payment of taxes, "b" sides say.
It is the Russian side issues and method of calculation of damages. The proposed court rejected the plaintiffs and approved its, not explaining details of the parties. According to the source "b", the sum of $ 50 billion includes the value of 70.5% at the end of the Yukos bankruptcy proceedings in the company in 2007, estimated on the basis of stock market indices of oil and gas companies in the $ 61 billion (the value of the share of GML - $ 42,6 billion) plus potential a dividend of $ 52 billion, which would receive the GML in 2003-2014 years. Recognizing that the actions of YUKOS could still "partly" lead to bankruptcy, the court deducted from the resulting amount by 25%. "In 2007, the Court assessed the already non-existent company. If the violation as determined by the Court, were in 2004, it is logical to calcityvat losses based on an assessment of the company at that time, ie at the level of $ 22 billion by 2007 and Yukos could not pay dividends. "- says one of the interlocutors" b ".
According to the court, as the awarded "substantial sum", Russia has time for payment until 15 January 2015, and then begin to accrue interest. Also, within 10 days from July 28 Russia may apply to the courts of the Netherlands, the territory of which the claim was considered, with the application of the policy decision, say "b" sides. Most likely, Russia will appeal to the fact that the arguments of one of the parties were not heard, that is a decision "violates the order and the foundations of morality." In GML do not expect an easy victory. "I think that Russia would use all legal possibilities to challenge the court's decision," - said yesterday, "b" Tim Osborne. Itself of GML, he said, would be "to seek benefits under compulsion", if Russia does not pay off in the period set by the court.
Lawyer International companies working with of GML, believes that the court's decision was largely evident in 2009, when he began rassmatregarded the claim on the merits. "Then I was sent an important signal that the representatives of the Russian Federation could sit down at the negotiating table, but to continue the proceedings, although it has already become largely technical," - said "Kommersant" source. The procedural argument that the claim should have been submitted in Russia, he did not consider wealthy, explaining that international courts often consider citizens' claims to their countries, is "established practice". To be guided by the decisions of the ECHR, adds the lawyer, the court also did not have to, though he could take note of them. At the same time, adds managing partner of law firm "Dmitry Matveev and partners" Dmitry Matveev, Western countries are "Yukos case" highly politicized, which clearly has been one of the major factors for the decision of the court.
Overseas property litigation in the Yukos case
April 28, 2009 Court of Appeal of Amsterdam on the suit controlled by former managers of Yukos Yukos Capital Sarl sought to "Rosneft" $ 424 million (about 13 billion rubles.) for the debts of "Yuganskneftegaz" absorbed by it. In addition, Yukos Capital through London betweenthe International Commercial Arbitration tried to recover 11 billion rubles. with "Tomskneft" (passed under the control of "Rosneft") as issued in 2004. The loan, but in 2010 the arbitration of the Tomsk region has not recognized the decision to the Russian Federation.
September 17, 2010 Stockholm arbitration court ruled to collect from Russia $ 3.5 million damages in favor of the former Yukos minority shareholder - the company RosinvestCo UK Ltd. English, referring to the Russian-British agreement on protection of investments required to compensate the first $ 75 million and then $ 200 million.
September 20, 2011 European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on the complaint of the former shareholders and top managers of Yukos' destruction of the company for the purpose of the expropriation of its assets. " The court refused to admit the case is politically motivated, and the question of compensation of € 81 billion transferred to the approval of the parties. Currently, the ECHR will decide on the request of the former shareholders of the Russian authorities to pay fair compensation.
October 2, 2013 Federal District Court of New York ordered the controlled "Rosneft" "Samaraneftegaz" companies to pay Yukos Capital $ 185,9,000,000 issued on the 2004 loan. "Rosneft" is contested decision.