The Swiss Federal Tribunal issued a decision that confirmed the legitimacy of the suit of PJSC Ukrnafta to the international arbitration tribunal in order to protect its assets in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea that were illegally seized after annexation of the peninsula.
Earlier, after annexation of Crimea in 2014, the agents of the Russian Federation seized Ukrnafta’s 16 petrol stations. Referring to the Treaty between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Russian Federation about attracting and mutual protection of investments of 1998, the company submitted the claim to the international arbitration tribunal.
The international arbitration tribunal defined Switzerland as a place of the arbitration. Nevertheless, the Russian Federation refused to recognize the power of the international arbitration tribunal and appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal against the court decision that confirmed its jurisdiction.
The Swiss Federal Tribunal confirmed with its decision the power of the international arbitration tribunal to arbitrate Ukrnafta’s claim against Russia on the basis of the abovementioned Treaty. Accordingly, the arbitrations will proceed and the final award on the merit is expected in the nearest time. Ukrnafta is expecting this award will prove its right for the compensation of USD 50 mln from the Russian Federation for its property expropriation.
The decision of the Swiss Federal Tribunal will have likely impact on the similar legal proceedings by the Ukrainian companies against the Russian Federation.