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Russian parliament wants to revise all international agreements over Yukos case

The decision of The Hague arbitration court on the Yukos oil company has sparked active debate in the Russian parliament on the revision of all Russia's international agreements for their possible denunciation. Deputy head of the constitutional legislation committee at the Federation Council upper house of parliament Konstantin Dobrynin put forward a proposal to check such documents, signed by Russia in different years, for compliance with Russian law.

The Hague arbitration court ruled on Monday that Russia must pay $50 billion for expropriating the assets of Yukos, the former oil giant whose ex-owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky fell foul of the Kremlin.

"We should urgently revise the full range of the concluded international agreements, charters, conventions in order to check their compliance with our law, their necessity and relevance for the country, as well as for possible damage in case of their application in the future, for working out recommendations for their possible future denunciation," he told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday, commenting on actions that Russia should take after the announcement of the decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on a suit of former owners of Yukos.

The official dismissed as absurd the grounds the court gave for its verdict. The court linked its decision to the violation by Russia of an article of the EU Energy Charter. Russia had signed the Charter in 1994, but never ratified it. He said, "It's not so much the issue of the quality of Dutch justice and the negative political background at the moment of the verdict passing, as the issue of quality of Russia's legal stance and the work of legal advisers who represented the country's interests.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 30Jul14]

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