Ukraine to spend nearly $6 million on lawyers in Crimea assets court case against Russia

Naftogaz Ukraine intends to procure the services of legal advisers for its lawsuits against Russia in 2019 demanding compensation for seized Crimean assets, the Ukrainian company’s press service reports. 

According to a notice on Naftogaz’s official website, the international legal firm Covington & Burling LLP will represent the country’s interests in the lawsuit against Russia for compensation of losses caused by the illegal expropriation of the company’s assets in Crimea. 

“We expect the cost of procuring the services of Covington & Burling LLP for 2019 to amount to 5.9 million US dollars. In May 2018, oral hearings took place in the Hague on the jurisdiction and responsibility in this arbitration case. The matter of damage will be considered and decided by the tribunal in the second stage of case consideration, after the adjudication on jurisdiction and responsibility. The tribunal is expected to deliver the first decision on the case in the first quarter of 2019,” Naftogaz noted. 

The company noted that the damages due to the loss of Crimean assets are estimated at more than $5 billion. 

In a Radio Crimea broadcast, Sergey Aksyonov, the Russian Head of Crimea, said that he is considering the possibility of the drilling rigs from the company Chornomornaftogaz to Syria. In 2014, the drilling rigs, fleet and other property of the Ukrainian company Chornomornaftogaz were seized when Russia annexed Crimea. Naftogaz Ukraine subsequently lost control of the Crimea-based subsidiary. The company was later reestablished in motherland Ukraine. 

On October 17, 2016, Naftogaz Ukraine and six of its subsidiary companies initiated an arbitration case against Russia, demanding compensation for the losses caused to them by the seizure of the group’s assets in Crimea. Naftogaz initiated the proceedings based on an agreement between the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers and the Russian government on collaboration, implementation and mutual protection of investments. 

In September 2017, Naftogaz Ukraine commercial director Yuriy Vitrenko estimated the lawsuit amount at more than $5 billion, and nearly $7 billion with interest.

  Russia, Ukraine, Crimea, Naftogaz, Vitrenko, Chornomornaftogaz