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against Russia, which is accused of "discriminatory action and expropriation
against Russia, which is accused of "discriminatory action and expropriation of property."
The Cyprus-registered VPT was set up by Yukos to guarantee pensions for the group's staff. All the trust's assets were invested in the oil company's securities. VPT's share of Yukos capital was 10%; Shearman & Sterling, a law firm representing Yukos's interests, estimates it at $5 billion. Yukos had more than 100,000 people on its roll.
However, experts on the Russian pension market are sure that Veteran Petroleum was designed to play a role in the group's schemes, rather than look after the social welfare of its personnel.
"It is very doubtful that the fund handled accounts of rank and file staff; more likely it acted as a tool for distributing Yukos assets among its shareholders," said one of the sources.
"International experience shows that investing funds in the securities of the parent company alone increases risks materially, and in the case of this fund, they were not insured by legislation in any country," said Vadim Soskov, executive director of Aton Management.
In his view, the claim is mostly a political move.
In the opinion of Mikhail Chernigovsky, director of analysis at the Vegas-Lex law firm, the shareholders' actions play a supportive role.
"Considering that Russia has not ratified the Energy Charter Treaty [pivotal to the current case] it is unlikely to observe the court's positive ruling," said the expert.
He said the decision could play a key role in further litigation concerning Yukos in the European Court of Human Rights.
"A failing to fulfill the rulings of this court could seriously affect the international standing of the offending state," Chernigovsky said.


RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.


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