In a victory for Moscow, a Dutch court yesterday overturned an order that Russia pay $50 billion to shareholders in defunct oil company Yukos, saying that the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration had no jurisdiction.
Former Yukos shareholders said they would appeal the surprise decision, which could impact earlier rulings in Belgium and France that four former shareholders were entitled to seize Russian state assets to compensate them for the loss of the oil giant. Once controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then one of Russia's richest men, Yukos was bankrupted after Khodorkovsky fell out with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the government began demanding payment of huge sums in back taxes.
State oil company Rosneft got most of its assets. In July 2014, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague ruled that the four plaintiffs - not including Khodorkovsky - were entitled to compensation for the loss of the company, entitling them to seize Russian state assets.