The Dutch Supreme Court on Friday handed Russia at least a temporary victory in an appeal of what’s believed to be the world’s largest award in an arbitration case after former shareholders of bankrupted Russian oil giant Yukos accused the Kremlin of taking down the company to silence its CEO, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin.
The decision further extends what already has been a yearslong legal battle between Russia and former Yukos shareholders. It quashed a lower court ruling, effectively setting aside a $50 billion award made to the former shareholders in 2014 and sending the case to another court in Amsterdam to consider Russian claims that the shareholders committed fraud in the original arbitration hearings.
However, the highest Dutch court rejected the rest of Russia’s arguments, a move welcomed by the former shareholders, who said in a statement that they “won on all substantive grounds of Russia’s appeal.”
The Russian prosecutor-general’s office welcomed the ruling but said “it is regrettable” the high court didn’t dismiss the award outright.