Russia ordered to pay $50bn to former Yukos shareholders

Russia ordered to pay $50bn to former Yukos shareholders

PanARMENIAN.Net - A court based in the Hague has ordered Russia to pay $50bn in damages to former shareholders in the defunct oil producer Yukos, BBC News reported.

The Court of Arbitration said that Russia must pay the compensation after finding that it forced the company into bankruptcy.

Yukos was once Russia's largest oil producer.

Russia's Foreign Minister said Russia would use "all available legal possibilities to defend its position."

The claim was filed by a subsidiary for the financial holding company GML, once the biggest shareholder in Yukos Oil Co.

GML Executive Director Tim Osborne said: "The majority shareholders of Yukos Oil were left without compensation for the loss of their investment when Russia illegally expropriated Yukos. It is a major step forward for the majority shareholders, who have been battling for over 10 years for this decision."

In addition to forcing the company into bankruptcy, Russia also sold Yukos' assets to state-owned businesses for political purposes, according to the claimant's lawyer Emmanuel Gaillard.

Yukos was formerly controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was at one point Russia's richest man.

Khodorkovsky had built Yukos into Russia's largest investor-owned oil company after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The state-owned Rosneft bought the bulk of Yukos assets though auctions after the company was declared bankrupt. It says all the deals were legal.

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