Supreme court allows execution in Ukraine of Hague arbitration decision on Crimean' lawsuit of ex-head of PrivatBank
The Supreme Court of Ukraine by its decision of January 25 rejected appeals against the decision of the Kyiv Court of Appeals dated September 25, 2018, by which the court recognized and allowed to execute the decision of the Hague arbitration of May 2 to recover compensation from Russia for the property of former owner of PrivatBank (Kyiv) Ihor Kolomoisky and the affiliated individuals in Crimea.
"The Supreme Court granted permission to execute the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the recovery from the Russian Federation of compensation for the property expropriated in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea," reads a posting on court.gov.ua portal.
According to the materials of the case, the Hague arbitration court awarded the plaintiffs a total of about $130.5 million compensation for real estate, $9.2 million compensation for the legal process costs, as well as interest on the indicated amounts at the rate of 12-month LIBOR plus 1% of compound interest annually.
According to the decision of the Kyiv Court of Appeals dated September 25, 2018, writs on the recovery of the specified amounts and interest from the Russian Federation represented by the Ministry of Justice in favor of the plaintiffs must be issued.
At the same time, the Supreme Court partially granted appeals against another ruling of the Kyiv Court of Appeals dated September 5, 2018 to secure a claim that seized shares of Ukrainian subsidiaries of Russian banks with participation of the state: VTB, Prominvestbank and Sberbank (all based in Kyiv).
"Appeals against the ruling of the Kyiv Court of Appeals dated September 5, 2018 (on securing the claim) were partially satisfied, and the ruling of the Kyiv Court of Appeals dated September 5, 2018 was changed. A petition seeking to secure the claim is upheld partially," the court said in a posting on the website court.gov.ua, without specifying other details.
According to the posting, the full text of the Supreme Court ruling will be drafted on February 1, 2019, while on January 25 the preamble and resume of the ruling were announced.
As reported, the lawsuit was initiated by the claimants against Russia on June 19, 2015 under the Ukraine-Russia bilateral investment treaty signed on November 27, 21998 and under the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) regulations.
The Claimants contended that, as of August 2014, the Russian Federation breached its obligations under the Ukraine-Russia BIT by interfering with and ultimately expropriating their investments in real estate located in Crimea. Aerobud, Crimea Development, NIVa-tour, UBK-Invest, Edelveis-2000, Planeta, Privatoffice, Privatland, Dan-Panorama, Energetik recreation center, Financial Capital asset management company and Financial Vector asset management company are among claimants.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on May 2, 2018 said that the Tribunal issued its unanimous Award on the Merits, addressing issues pertaining to liability and damages. Other details of the award were not disclosed. The article of the UNCITRAL (United Nations Commission on International Trade Law) Arbitration Rules 1976 which the tribunal referred to says that the award shall be made in writing and shall be final and binding on the parties. The parties undertake to carry out the award without delay.
In July 2018, all 18 legal entities and Dubilet appealed to the Kyiv Court of Appeals seeking to declare valid the award of Permanent Court of Arbitration and collect sums from the debtor – Russia as compensation for real estate. The claimant said that there is property of the debtor on the territory of Ukraine, according to a posting on court.gov.ua.
New law in the Code of Civil Procedure of Ukraine was applied to confirm pro-arbitration and in pursuance to Part 3 of Article 152 of the Code of Civil Procedure in August 2018 the claimants filed a petition to secure the claim to the Kyiv Court of Appeals. They claimants sought to seize the shares of Prominvestbank, Sberbank and VTB Bank and ban any actions aimed at selling property.
By the ruling dated September 5, 2018, the Kyiv Court of Appeals, acting as the court of lower instance, granted the application for securing the claim, and by the ruling dated September 25 of the same year - the application for recognition and the granting of permission to enforce the award of the Hague arbitration.
The Supreme Court composed of the panel of judges of the First Court Chamber of the Civil Court of Cassation, acting as an appellate court, heard the appeals against these rulings during an open-door hearing, according to a posting on court.gov.ua.