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3 Dec, 2020 12:07

Russian justice minister claims $50 billion Yukos case shows West waging 'legal war' on Moscow & says it should fight back

Russian justice minister claims $50 billion Yukos case shows West waging 'legal war' on Moscow & says it should fight back

A legal war has been declared on Russia, and Moscow must return fire. That’s according to Justice Minister Konstantin Chuychenko, following recent developments in the case taken by Yukos shareholders against Russia.

Last month, a federal court in Washington, DC accepted a Russian government motion to suspend a case brought by former shareholders of the oil and gas company, which was once one of Russia’s largest corporations until it was nationalized in the early 2000s for failure to pay tax arrears.

However, the multi-pronged attack is also coming at Moscow from the Netherlands, where Russia is appealing a $50 billion settlement awarded against the state in 2014. The decision is currently with the Dutch Supreme Court, and the Prosecutor General has recommended that the country’s top legal body move to enforce the award.

Also on rt.com New twist in $50bn Yukos battle as US court sides with Russia over oligarchs & suspends controversial case

“The situation is very difficult and serious. Indeed, a legal war has been declared on Russia,” Chuychenko said on the Rossiya-24 news channel. “Russia must adequately defend itself, and sometimes even attack back.”

The $50 billion settlement awarded against Russia is the largest-ever arbitration award globally, and is almost a tenth of the country’s entire foreign currency reserves.

Russia claims foreign courts have ignored its own anti-corruption laws, and Moscow has disputed international jurisdiction over the case. In particular, the Russian argument hangs on the fact that the nation parliament did not ratify the 1991 Energy Charter Treaty, a basis for the claim. According to Chuychenko, holding Russia to this agreement, despite never being ratified by the Duma, “is nothing but a defeat of the theory of separation of powers.”

The Minister for Justice expects the appeal to be heard in 2021.

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