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    Dutch Court Finds against Russia in Crimea

Summary

Russia's seizure of the Crimea violated a bilateral investment treaty.

by: William Powell

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Complimentary, Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Political, Territorial dispute, News By Country, Russia, Ukraine

Dutch Court Finds against Russia in Crimea

A Dutch court has concluded that Russia is liable for the unlawful seizure of Naftogaz assets in Crimea under the bilateral investment treaty between Ukraine and Russia, Naftogaz Ukrainy said March 1.

The arbitral tribunal concluded that Russian actions were unlawful and violated the Russia-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty, whereby Russia had to respect and protect Ukrainian-owned assets, including those in Crimea.

The state-owned entity said the victory was "very important and would allow the aggressor to bear responsible for the stolen assets. Thanks to efforts of both the international community and Ukraine, the cost to Russia of annexing Ukraine will keep growing."

Naftogaz says it owned some of the most valuable energy assets in Crimea and was among the Russian Federation's chief targets when it annexed Crimea.

The tribunal will launch a second phase of the proceedings to determine the amount of compensation Russia owes to Naftogaz. Naftogaz experts have estimated the value of Naftogaz's stolen assets at $5bn. However enforcement might prove difficult: 12 months on, Russia still has not paid Naftogaz the $2.56bn plus interest in damages awarded against it by the Stockholm arbitration court.

Naftogaz sued Russia in October 2016 for breaking a bilateral investment treaty. A hearing on matters of jurisdiction and liability was held at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in May 2018.

The six Naftogaz subsidiaries are the upstream offshore business Chornomornaftogaz, Ukrtransgaz, Likvo, Ukrgasvydobuvannya, Ukrtransnafta and Gaz Ukrainy.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration acts as the registry and is administering the arbitral proceedings. More information about the case can be found on the website of the Permanent Court of Arbitration: https://pca-cpa.org/en/cases/151/.