Ukrainian Supreme Court allows seizing Russian banks assets to recover losses in Crimea

The Supreme Court of Ukraine allowed seizing shares of Russian financial institutions as compensation for the annexation of the Crimea, the press service of the Court reported

In July last year, eighteen legal entities and one individual applied to the Kyiv Court of Appeals with the request to recognize and to grant permission for the implementation of the decision made by the International Court of Arbitration at the Hague. 

According to the application, debtor banks hold some property in the territory of Ukraine. According to the Arbitration Court ruling of May 2, 2018  the said property should be arrested to allow the recovery of compensation from Russia for the alienation of property in the Crimea and “nationalizing the [Ukrainian] assets.” The Russian banks in question were Sberbank, Prominvestbank and VTB bank. 

The Kyiv Court of Appeals granted the application of the claimants. The Supreme Court considered the complaints and upheld the second decision of the Court of Appeals and partly satisfied the request for the injunctive relief. The full text of the order will be published on February 1. 

On September 5, the Kyiv Court of Appeals decided to arrest shares of Russian bank subsidiaries in Ukraine. The decision was influenced by the request for injunctive relief with regards to recognition and enforcement of The Hague Arbitration Court’s decision to recover the losses inflicted by Russia’s seizure of Ukrainian property in the Crimea. 

According to the decision of the Court of Appeal of September 5, VTB, Prominvestbank and Sberbank are prohibited from restructuring their legal entities, from carrying out liquidation or any other actions aimed at selling the property that belongs to the abovementioned banks. The Supreme Court appealed this definition on September 14. 

Some Ukrainian financial institutions are among the claimants that accuse Russia of violating its obligations from November 27, 1998 through the annexation of the Crimea that led to the seizure of Ukrainian banks' property.

  Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, Kyiv Court of Appeal, VTB Bank, Supreme Court of Ukraine