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Ukraine’s Naftogaz takes Crimea compensation battle against Russia to US


KYIV (Reuters) -Ukrainian state-owned energy company Naftogaz said on Friday it had taken legal action in the United States against Russia to recover $5 billion awarded in the Hague as compensation for damages and lost property in Crimea.

It said it had filed a motion in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and that it had the right to do so as the U.S. is among countries hosting Russian assets.

Russia, which launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, seized Crimea in 2014 and annexed the peninsula, triggering sanctions from Western governments.

Naftogaz’s assets in Crimea included Chornomornaftogaz, which produced significant amounts of gas from the Black Sea.

Naftogaz said in April that an arbitration court in The Hague had ordered Russia to pay $5 billion in compensation for unlawfully expropriating the Ukrainian company’s assets in Crimea.

“Since Russia has not voluntarily paid the funds to Naftogaz as provided for by the award, we intend to leverage all available mechanisms to recover these funds,” Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Chernyshov said.

Chernyshov said the company was working on this in the United States and other target jurisdictions.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia would look at all possible ways to protect its legal rights in the case.

(Reporting by Anna Pruchnicka and Olena Harmash; Editing by Tom Hogue and Timothy Heritage)

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