Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khorkovsky. Image courtesy of Mitya Aleshkovskiy/Wikimedia Commons.

A Dutch court ruled Tuesday that Russia’s government does not have to pay $50 billion in compensation to the shareholders of the now-defunct oil firm Yukos.

According to BBC, the Hague District Court ruled on Tuesday that the Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) had no jurisdiction when it awarded the compensation in 2014.

The Hague District Court said Russia has not ratified the treaty that the PCA used to inform its decision.

A Kremlin spokesperson told the BBC that the Russian government was pleased with the outcome.

“The Russian Federation from the very beginning of this case insisted that the decision of the tribunal didn’t take into consideration the most important aspects of international law,” the spokesperson said.

Director of GML Tim Osborne told the BBC that Yukos shareholders will appeal the decision.

GML represents some of Yukos’ largest shareholders.

The PCA based its compensation award on the value of the company in 2003, the same year that the Russian government began taking steps to seize control of the company.

Yukos declared bankruptcy in 2006, about three years after CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev were arrested on charges of tax fraud and tax evasion.

Although Russian officials have maintained the charges were purely a tax matter many observers believe the move was politically motivated.

Khodorkovsky served ten years in prison before receiving a pardon from Russian president Vladimir Putin 2013.

Khodorkovsky currently resides in Switzerland.


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