Starting in 2015, a number of Ukrainian powerful owners began to apply to international arbitrations with claims against Russia regarding the misappropriation of their Crimean assets, citing the aggressor’s violation of the bilateral Ukrainian-Russian agreement on the promotion and mutual protection of investments of 1998.
For a long time, Russia chose the tactic of avoiding these arbitrations, but after losing a number of such proceedings, it began to participate in them in order to prolong the process. Also, Russia began to appeal the rendered arbitration decisions to the national courts of the states, in whose general jurisdiction they took place.
A typical example of such proceedings is the case of “PrivatBank”, which in 2015 filed a lawsuit in The Hague before the arbitration court due to the Crimean assets of the bank stolen by the Russian invaders on the peninsula.
In that proceeding, which Russia chose to avoid, the arbitral tribunal issued an interim and partial award, finding that it had jurisdiction to resolve the dispute and that Russia had illegally expropriated PrivatBank’s assets in the Crimea. In the future, the arbitration was to determine the amount of damages and recover them from the aggressor state.
In 2019, Russia appealed to the Court of Appeal in The Hague, in which it asked to review or cancel such arbitration decisions, and this Netherlands’ instance has denied the aggressor’s lawyers an appeal today, on 20th of July. Further, in October 2022, an arbitration decision is expected, in which the aggressor will be charged the amount of the damages.