Next week, the Ukrainian National Joint-Stock Company [NJSC] Naftogaz and six of its subsidiaries will initiate a court hearing against Russia in the Arbitration Court in Hague. Naftogaz is pursuing legal action to recover lost company assets which were seized by Russia in the Crimea, the Naftogaz press service reports.
During the hearings scheduled for May 14-20, the court will determine whether Naftogaz has grounds to take Russia to court under the Russian-Ukrainian bilateral agreement on mutual investment protection, and whether Russia has violated its obligations.
Lawyers expect the decision to be made in the early 2019. If the decision is in favor of Naftogaz, the court will proceed to determine the amount of compensation required from Russia for damages to Naftogaz. There will be a phase of damage assessment, and afterwards, the final decision will be made.
“We are happy for our misfortunate colleagues, who have already received a decision and are working on their own process,” Naftogaz stated. “Meanwhile, the list of Russia’s foreign property is gradually turning into a bestseller.”
The Hague Arbitration Court previously ordered Russia to pay $159 million in compensation to Oleksand Dubilet, the former Chairman of Privatbank, and 18 other Ukrainian companies to cover lost assets as a result of Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.
In October 2016, Naftogaz and its six subsidiaries (Chornomornaftogaz, Ukrtransgaz, Likvo, UkrGasVydobuvannya, UkrTransNafta and GasUkraine) initiated arbitration proceedings against Russia, demanding compensation for damages caused by the the seizure of its assets in the Crimea, Ukrainian News reported.
The damages of Naftogaz group are estimated to equal around $5 billion (without interest) as a result of the annexation of the Crimea by Russia.