MOSCOW, July 31 (RIA Novosti) – The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that awarded $2.6 billion in compensation to shareholders of the former Russian oil company Yukos, is neither fair, nor impartial, the Russian Justice Ministry said Thursday.
“The Russian Ministry of Justice does not regard this court ruling as an example of a fair and impartial approach to assessing all legal and factual circumstances of a case,” the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry also said the European court ignored the interests of lenders that sustained losses due to the fraud committed by Yukos management. Russia now has three months to appeal the ruling.
Yukos’ appeal to the ECHR on behalf of all its shareholders is separate from the recent application made by Group Menatep to the Hague, which ordered Russia to pay $50 billion in damages.
Yukos, a defunct oil company previously controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was declared bankrupt by a Moscow court of arbitration back in 2006.
Yukos' managers contended that the Russian government illegally forced the oil firm out of business, which allowed Rosneft to snap up its assets and become Russia’s largest oil producer.
Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky spent a decade in prison for fraud and tax evasion until he was pardoned in December of 2013.
Vladimir Pligin, the chairman of the Russian parliament’s constitution and state affairs committee, said Monday that the Hague’s decision was merely a means of sanctioning Moscow over its handling of the Ukrainian crisis.