Russia ordered to pay $50bn to former oil magnates

Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaking in Donetsk, Ukraine, in April. Credit: Reuters

Russia must pay shareholders in defunct oil giant Yukos around $50 billion (£29 billion) for seizing the company once controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an international arbitration court has ruled.

The court in Hague said it had awarded the shareholders group just under half of their $114 billion (£67 billion) claim as damages for money they lost.

Mr Khodorkovsky, who is not part of the current arbitration case, was arrested at gunpoint in 2003 and convicted of theft and tax evasion in 2005.

His company, once worth $40 billion (£24 billion), was broken up and nationalised, with most assets handed to Rosneft, a company run by Igor Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would most likely appeal the decision.