A US court agreed to consider a claim against Russia for tens of billions of dollars.

District Court USA by district Colombia rejected the request Russia on declaring a dispute with ex-shareholders beyond jurisdiction oil company Yukos by 50 billion dollars. Now the case can be considered on the merits due to Judge Beryl Howell’s refusal to recognize the Russian Federation’s right to sovereign immunity in the United States, reports RBC with reference to court materials.

The dispute concerns ten years of litigation before the international arbitration court in The Hague, which in 2014 awarded ex-YUKOS shareholders $50 billion as compensation for the “expropriation” of the company. Since then, according to Reuters, the amount of compensation increased for 10 billion dollars including interest.

After the Russian authorities refused to pay the required amount, former Yukos shareholders initiated proceedings in a number of jurisdictions, including the United States. At the same time, the decision of the Hague court is still being challenged by Russia in the judicial system Netherlands.

As specified in the materials of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, the claim of Yukos shareholders fell under the “arbitration exception” prescribed in the Foreign State Immunities Act (FSIA). It states that a foreign country is not protected from litigation in the United States if the plaintiff has sought confirmation of an arbitration award made in accordance with the agreement of the parties and subject to the provisions of the New York Convention.

In early November, Reuters reported about the refusal of the High Court London recognize Russia’s state immunity in the YUKOS case. As specified, by that time the total size of the Russian Federation’s obligations to three companies – Hulley Enterprises, Yukos Universal and Veteran Petroleum – had grown to $60 billion. Judge Sarah Cockerill then explained her decision by saying that Moscow she herself agreed to arbitration proceedings, so her attempts to challenge the decision have no legal basis.

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