: :inin Kyiv (EET)

Arbitration in The Hague to hand down rulings in another 2 claims of Ukraine businesses against Russia over Crimea annexation

Two more cases are also expected to reach a jurisdictional ruling soon, lodged with the Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague against Russia by Ukrainian oil companies Ukrnafta and Stabil over seized petrol stations in Crimea, according to Global Arbitration Review.

A hearing in those cases took place at roughly the same time as the one in the Aeroport Belbek and Privatbank/Finilon cases, last July, before a tribunal composed of Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Daniel Price and Brigitte Stern, as reported by Global Arbitration Review.

A third tribunal composed of Andr?s Rigo Sureda, Michael Reisman and Rolf Knieper is hearing a case against Russia brought by a group of real estate companies led by Everest Estate. That case is less advanced: the jurisdictional hearing took place in December.

Ukrnafta, Stabil and Everest are all also represented by Hughes Hubbard & Reed, without input from Hober.

There are two other cases of a similar nature being administered by the PCA, with different counsel involved for the claimants and no participation from Russia. A claim over real estate losses led by a company called Lugzor, of which GAR has few details, was brought in 2015 and is being heard by Donald McRae, Bruno Simma and Eduardo Zuleta. Counsel to Lugzor are a team from Fieldfisher led by partner Simon Moore and Zachary Douglas QC and Luis Gonzalez Garcia from Matrix Chambers in London.

Last October, it was further was reported that state owned energy company Naftogaz had launched a claim worth EUR 2.6 billion, represented by a team from Covington & Burling led by partner Marney Cheek in Washington, DC. This brings the number of known cases relating to the annexation of Crimea brought under the 1998 BIT to eight.

All the cases are proceeding under the UNCITRAL 1976 rules, which applied at the time the BIT entered the force, meaning that both sides must consent to the publication of the latest awards. Given Russia`s non-participation in the case, such consent seems unlikely.

Aeroport Belbek and Igor Valerievich Kolomoisky v Russian Federation (PCA case no. 2015-07)

PJSC CB PrivatBank and Finance Company Finilon v Russian Federation (PCA Case no. AA568)

Earlier, arbitrators have accepted the principle that Russia could be liable under the Ukraine-Russia BIT for the mistreatment of investors in the Crimean Peninsula following the date when Russia signed decrees incorporating the contested territory into the Russian Federation, in the cases of Aeroport Belbek and Igor Valerievich Kolomoisky v Russian Federation and PJSC CB PrivatBank and Finance Company Finilon v Russian Federation. This appears to be the first instance where a tribunal has ruled to extend BIT protection to circumstances such as these. Tribunal sidesteps ruling on lawfulness of occupation and annexation, but sees its as effective – with legal consequences under BIT


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