The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ordered Russia to pay the former shareholders of now-defunct oil giant Yukos almost €1.9 billion ($2.5 billion), just days after a Hague court ordered Russia to pay $50 billion in compensation.
The ruling comes just days after an international arbitration court at The Hague made a similar ruling for a record $50 billion to be paid in compensation over Russia's seizure of the company once owned by Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The decision by the EU rights court in Strasbourg related to tax claims by Moscow that forced Yukos into bankruptcy in 2007.
In its majority ruling, the court said that the "disproportionate character of the enforcement proceedings had significantly contributed to Yukos' liquidation".
Representatives of some 55,000 former shareholders were seeking damages of almost €38 million.
In September 2011, the court had found that certain parts of the tax enforcement procedures against Yukos were a breach of shareholders' fundamental rights.
The ruling adds to the international pressure on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, after the United States and the European Union this week imposed tough new sanctions on key financial, arms and energy sectors.
Yukos was once Russia's biggest oil company but was broken up after Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003, shortly after President Vladimir Putin warned Russia's growing class of oligarchs against meddling in politics.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2014-07-31