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Russia: Court makes €1.8 billion Yukos damages ruling

Human rights judges say Russia should pay 1,866,104,634 euros (EUR) in damages to the shareholders of the Yukos oil company, the largest award in the court’s history.

The court also ruled that Russia should pay EUR 300,000 in respect of costs and expenses to the Yukos International Foundation.

The case concerned the tax and enforcement proceedings brought in 2004 against the Russian oil company, OAO Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos (Yukos), which eventually led to its liquidation in 2007.

In a Chamber judgment in the case of Oao Neftyanaya Kompaniya Yukos v. Russia (application no. 14902/04), adopted on 24 June 2014 and delivered today, which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on the question of the application of Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The court held, by a majority:

that Russia was to pay the shareholders of Yukos as they had stood at the time of the company’s liquidation and, if applicable, their legal successors and heirs 1,866,104,634 euros (EUR) in respect of pecuniary damage; and,

that Russia had to produce, in co-operation with the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, within six months from the date on which the judgment became final, a comprehensive plan for distribution of the award of just satisfaction.

The court further held, by a majority, that Russia was to pay EUR 300,000 in respect of costs and expenses to the Yukos International Foundation.

The court also held, unanimously, that the finding of a violation constituted in itself sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by Yukos.

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