Hague tribunal hearings start on Russian seizure of Crimean gas assets
Tribunal hearings started at the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on February 21 to determine how much Russia will need to pay Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz for the seizure of its investments in Crimea in 2014.
When Russia annexed Crimea in early 2014, it also took control of gas fields, drilling rigs and other equipment belonging to Naftogaz. Naftogaz and six of its subsidiaries launched arbitration proceedings against Russia over these seizures in 2016.
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Naftogaz currently estimates the damages at over $10bn. Oral arguments in the case began in May 2018 and in February 2019, the tribunal concluded that Russia was liable for the unlawful seizure of the assets, stating it violated its bilateral investment treaty with Ukraine. The tribunal's task now is deciding the amount that Russia should pay.
The start of hearings came the same day as Russian president Vladimir Putin recognised Ukraine's breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states. Russia has since moved its troops into the regions, prompting condemnation from the US and its European allies. The US, the EU and the UK are preparing sanctions in retaliation.