The Hague Arbitration made the first decision on the suit of Ukrainian companies, mainly related to Igor Kolomoisky, who lost their assets after the Crimea joined the Russian Federation. The arbiters supported the Ukrainian side, and now Russia must pay $ 159 million. This decision creates judicial practice for other, much larger such claims, including Naftogaz Ukrainy's claims for $ 8 billion. Russia officially refused to recognize the arbitration award and will challenge it .
The Permanent Arbitration Court in The Hague decided to recover from Russia the losses of Ukrainian investors that arose after the Crimea joined the Russian Federation, follows from the arbitration award published on May 10. In this case, a joint suit was filed by 18 legal entities headed by Everest Estate and one physical person - former chairman of the board of Privatbank Alexander Dubilet. All these companies are former owners of real estate or hotels in the Crimea, and at least the majority of them are connected with Igor Kolomoisky. So, in Dayris LLC and Diline Ltd LLC Mr. Kolomoisky is a beneficiary together with Gennady Bogolyubov. In addition, among the plaintiffs LLC Energetik - the former owner of the boarding house "Energetik" in Yalta, which belonged to Mr. Kolomoisky.
The amount of payments in the message of arbitration is not specified, but according to the statement of the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Elena Zerkal, she is $ 159 million, initially the claimants asked $ 220 million. The RF Justice Ministry confirmed that the arbitration awarded $ 140 million without interest. "Russia does not recognize this decision due to the lack of jurisdiction of the arbitration court to consider this claim," the Ministry of Justice said. The plaintiffs base their position on the fact that Russia violated the 1998 agreement with Ukraine on mutual protection of investments. Russia opposes that it is impossible to demand from it simultaneously the protection of Ukrainian investments (proceeding from the fact that the Crimea is Russian territory) and the return of the Crimea as an occupied territory (as Kiev believes). The press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov said that Russia "does not consider itself a party to the process and did not send its representative to this process."
Igor Kolomoisky before the nationalization of the Crimean assets in late 2014 belonged to the peninsula of about 80 real estate objects, in particular boarding houses Massandra and Castropol, hotel Crimea, Nautilus (in Yalta), Tavrida (in Evpatoria), sanatorium "Foros".
The current dispute is only the first of at least six lawsuits in the Hague arbitration filed by various Ukrainian companies and banks regarding the nationalization of assets in the Crimea. So, the companies of Igor Kolomoisky demand compensation for the loss of filling stations, Privatbank and Oschadbank - their Crimean assets. The biggest claim was filed by Naftogaz of Ukraine regarding the loss of Chernomorneftegaz and licenses on the shelf of the Crimea. Its amount, taking into account interest, according to the Ukrainian company, is $ 8 billion. Naftogaz has already said that next week it expects decisions from the arbitrators on jurisdiction, and if the arbitration recognizes its jurisdiction, the decision on the merits can be made in the first quarter of 2019 of the year.
"We can say that Ukraine managed to sit on two chairs: on the one hand, the Ukrainian side does not recognize Crimea as Russian, but on the other, if Russia considers it its territory, then let it be responsible," says Lidings managing partner Andrei Zelenin. that this decision does not create a prelude, it certainly will affect the arguments of the parties and the motivation of arbitration in other cases related to the nationalization of Crimean assets. The likelihood that other decisions will go on another canvas is not high. "
Now Russia will either have to execute the arbitration award, or challenge it in the state court of the Netherlands. If Moscow refuses to execute the decision, the plaintiffs may try to enforce it in foreign jurisdictions in order to arrest any Russian state assets.
The variant with the challenge is more realistic, believes Andrei Zelenin: "Most likely, Russia will do this in all aspects, from the lack of jurisdiction in arbitration, which we did not recognize, ending with incorrect references to norms and incorrect calculation of the amount of losses." According to the lawyer, it is premature to speak about the possibility of canceling or executing the arbitration award. In the case of YUKOS, he explains, everyone was sure that the decision would stand, but it was canceled, so that in Crimean cases "nothing can be ruled out either."