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The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with the Russian oil company Tatneft in a dispute with Ukraine over the payment of a multimillion-dollar judgment awarded years ago by an arbitration panel.
The high court on October 3 did not comment on the case except to say that it would not hear it.
The decision, a win for one of Russia's largest oil companies as Moscow continues to wage war in Ukraine, means the case will continue in U.S. lower courts, which also have sided with the company and have declined to dismiss it.
A U.S. District Court judge ruled in Tatneft's favor in 2020, and an appeals court in Washington subsequently affirmed the enforcement of the judgment.
In its decision on October 3, the Supreme Court turned away Ukraine's attempt to avoid a Paris-based arbitration panel's order saying the Ukrainian government must pay a $173 million judgment to Tatneft.
The panel was established by the parties to consider Tatneft's accusations of Ukrainian wrongdoing over the handling of shares in an oil refinery.
The case involves Ukraine's Kremenchuk oil refinery, which was destroyed by Russia in April.
Ukraine originally owned half the refinery, while the other half was owned by Tatneft and the oil-rich Russian region of Tatarstan. A dispute between the parties led to arbitration in which Ukraine was ordered in 2014 to pay $112 million plus interest.
Tatneft since 2017 has argued in U.S. courts in favor of enforcing the arbitration panel's award, but Ukraine says the United States has no connection to the case.
Lawyers for Ukraine say Tatneft should be using courts in Ukraine which “remain open and would fairly consider its request for relief.”
Ukraine appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February.
Lawyers representing Ukraine raised Tatneft's ties to the Russian government and the ongoing invasion in their appeal.
They said Tatneft had used the case to target "third parties integral to Ukraine's national security" ahead of Russia's invasion. Tatneft has denied those allegations.
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