French court takes Russia's side in Crimea lawsuit

The Paris Court of Appeal overturned the decision to recover $1.3 billion from Russia as part of the  the suit filed by Ukraine's Oschadbank against Russia over assets in Crimea.

“On March 30, the Paris Court of Appeal overturned the 2018 arbitration award on the claim from PJSC State Savings Bank of Ukraine,” a message posted on the website of the Russian Ministry of Justice said. 

The ministry explained that the court “upheld the argument from Russia's Ministry of Justice, according to which the arbitration tribunal had no jurisdiction to consider the dispute” and thus canceled the decision. 

Thus, the Russian side proved that the Crimean branch of Ukraine's Oschadbank was set up before January 1, 1992, during the Soviet period. In this regard, the so-called investments that the lawsuit referred to were subject to the Agreement on the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments.

"This decision will have presidential value in other cases involving so-called" Ukrainian investors - the cases that are currently considered by arbitration and state courts in European jurisdictions," the Ministry of Justice added in a statement. 

  • In November 2018, the Arbitration Court in Paris upheld the claim from Ukraine's Oschadbank to recover $1.3 billion from Russia as compensation for the annexation of Crimea.
  • The lawsuit was filed in the summer of 2015.
  • The lawsuit spoke about the loss of assets of the credit institution due to the depreciation of loans issued to Crimean residents.
  • The bank was forced to create additional reserves for them, which led to additional expenses and resulted in a net loss in the amount of 8.5 billion hryvnia (27.2 billion rubles at the then exchange rate) at the end of 2014 against 678.7 million hryvnia (2.1 billion rubles ) of profit a year earlier.
Crimea and Russia