RUSSIA: Court rules Yuganskneftegaz $512 million payment unlawful

The Moscow District Federal Arbitration Court confirmed Thursday that an international commercial arbitration court's ruling that Yuganskneftegaz pay 13 billion rubles ($511.6 million) to Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. was unlawful.

The court rejected Yukos Capital's appeal against an earlier ruling by the Moscow Arbitration Court to overturn the ruling by the commercial arbitration court at Russia's Industry and Commerce Chamber.

In May, the Moscow Arbitration Court overturned a decision ordering Yuganskneftegaz to pay 13 billion rubles to the Luxembourg-based company linked to the former management of bankrupt oil company Yukos.

The court accepted claims filed by state-controlled Russian crude producer Rosneft, the current owner of Yuganskneftegaz, which was formerly the core production unit of Yukos.

It was earlier reported that both companies had signed an agreement granting Yuganskneftegaz a loan of 11.2 billion rubles ($440.8 million). But in 2006 Yukos Capital S.a.r.l. applied to the international commercial arbitration court, claiming Yuganskneftegaz had failed to honor its loan commitments and pay interest.

In September 2006 the arbitration court ordered Yuganskneftegaz pay the principal, plus 1.7 billion rubles ($66.9 million) in interest payments and $850,000 in arbitration fees to the creditor.

The Rosneft management considered the ruling unlawful and challenged it in the Moscow Arbitration Court.

Yukos, which once led Russia's oil market, was declared bankrupt on August 1, 2006, after three years of litigation with tax authorities over tax arrears. Its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year prison sentence in Siberia for fraud and tax evasion.

Via: Russian News Information Agency

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