Date
22 May 2017
A court ruled that Russia must compensate Yukos Oil shareholders after the company was broken up. Photo: Bloomberg
A court ruled that Russia must compensate Yukos Oil shareholders after the company was broken up. Photo: Bloomberg

Belgium unblocks Russian accounts it seized

Belgium has unblocked Russian state accounts it had frozen, BBC News reported, citing the Belgian foreign minister.

The assets were seized after an international arbitration court ruled in July last year that Russian officials had manipulated the legal system to bankrupt the now-defunct Yukos oil firm.

Yukos was taken over by a Russian state firm. Its former boss, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was jailed.

The court told Russia to pay Yukos shareholders US$50 billion in compensation after the breakup of the company.

But as Russia does not acknowledge the court’s findings, former Yukos shareholders managed to get Russian state assets frozen.

Responding to the asset seizure, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would “defend our interests by the route of justice”.

Belgium’s ambassador to Moscow was summoned to the Kremlin and told the asset seizure was “an openly hostile act” that “crudely violates the recognised norms of international law”.

While visiting China, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said, “A solution has been found to unblock as a priority accounts for the running of the embassies, and the rest will follow.”

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RC/FL

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