News (#11-12 November-December 2021)


Dutch Supreme Court rules to review decision obliging Russia to pay USD 50 billion to YUKOS shareholders

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has upheld the appeal in the arbitration case in the part of a USD 50 billion filed by Russia against former shareholders of the YUKOS oil company.

The court ruling stated that the Supreme Court had decided in favor of the Russian Federation on one clause. It considers that for some procedural reasons the Hague Court of Appeal has erroneously ignored the argument filed by the Russian Federation that the shareholders are likely to have committed fraud during arbitration proceedings. Therefore, the decisions of the Court of Appeal cannot be held to be valid.

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands dismissed other claims filed by the Russian Federation. This applies, in particular, to the claims filed by the Russian Federation in relation to the interpretation of the provisions of the agreement used by the arbitral tribunal to justify its jurisdiction, and also to the claim on nonfulfillment of its mandate by the arbitral tribunal.

The Supreme Court referred the case to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal for reconsideration and assessment.

in February 2020, the Hague Court of Appeal, Netherlands, ordered Russia to pay USD 50 billion to YUKOS shareholders.

Russia appealed to the Supreme Court of the Netherlands in May 2020.

The shareholders filed a claim with the International Arbitration in The Hague back in 2005. In 2007, the court drew the conclusion that in the early 2000s YUKOS suffered a large-scale attack in Russia to force the company’s bankruptcy, seize its assets, and to take out its chairman, Mykhail Khodorkovsky, from political life.

In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled to collect about EUR 2 billion from Russia in favor of former YUKOS shareholders.


Google lost case related to fine of EUR 2.42 billion to European Commission

The General Court of the European Union has rejected an appeal filed by Google against a EUR 2.4 billion fine imposed by Brussels on Google for abusing its dominant position on the search engine market.

The court dismissed the claim filed by Google against the commission decision as a whole. The commission found that Google had abused its dominant position by favoring its own shopping comparison service over competitors. The court upheld a fine of EUR 2.42 billion imposed on Google.

The European Commission imposed a fine on Google in June 2017. The company had to cease relevant activities within 90 days or pay penalties of up to 5% of the average daily turnover of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

Google appealed to the Court of the European Union against the decision of the European Commission in September 2017.

In their appeal, Google and Alphabet, its parent company, claimed that the EU “mistakenly interpreted the law, the facts and the economy” in the case against the search engine.

The court stated that by preferring its own Google Shopping service over competitors when ranking search and positioning results, Google had essentially moved away from competition.

It rejected the argument filed by Google that large online stores have their own online sites by claiming that “these platforms are not in the same market” where users compare purchases.

The case is one of three cases initiated against the Internet search engine giant, which is currently dealing with a protracted EU appeals system. Google can still appeal to the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, for a final decision.


German court rejects claim filed against Nord Stream-2 by environmental experts

The Higher Administrative Court in Greifswald rejected a claim filed by the German environmental organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe (DUH) against the construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.

The claim was filed against the mining authorities of the German city of Stralsund. It was one of the licensing authorities and in 2018 granted permission for the pipeline’s construction and operation in German coastal waters.

The plaintiff sought to amend the decision on the project approval of 31 January 2018, issued in favor of the Nord Stream 2 AG operating company in relation to the pipeline. At the same time, environmental experts referred to the need to amend the resolution with a regulation on risk assessment of methane emissions during gas supplies, based on the latest results of an American study.

During the judgment announcement, the court instance noted that the plaintiff did not have the necessary legal authority to make such amendments as to the sea areas within German jurisdiction, as well as to the land facilities located in Lubmin.

Moreover, the pipeline underwent field tests for gas tightness prior to its commissioning in accordance with safety regulations.

As for Russia’s onshore gas infrastructure, the claim was deemed admissible but meritless. The relevant facilities were not part of the approved project plan.

Finally, during the project’s approval, the impact on the environment was assessed in general, in particular, taking into account methane emissions, the resolution stated.


Russia to compensate USD 1.4 billion for Crimea: Oschadbank appeals to French Court of Cassation

Oschadbank appealed to the Court of Cassation of France against the decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris taken in March, which overturned the decision to reimburse about USD 1.4 billion in favor of the bank by the Russian Federation.

The losses incurred by Oschadbank were caused by the illegal seizure of Oschadbank’s investments in Ukraine’s Republic of Crimea.

Oschadbank is confident that the Court of Cassation of France will acknowledge and correct apparent errors and omissions in the decision approved by the Court of Appeal of Paris and will thus reinstate the arbitration award made against the Russian Federation, which ruled to compensate Oschadbank for significant losses incurred due to unacceptable actions and disregard for the laws on part of the Russian Federation.

Case consideration on obtaining fair compensation for Oschadbank’s assets expropriated by the Russian Federation in occupied Crimea is constantly in the focus of attention of the bank’s management.

The Ukrainian Journal of Business Law

Subscribe to The Ukrainian Journal of Business Law right now and enjoy the most relevant issues on doing business in Ukraine on your device or in print.

All this for just USD 9.99 a month.


Subscribe now