The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, the Netherlands, has ruled that the Russian Federation must compensate some Ukrainian companies about US$159 million in losses caused by the annexation of Crimea.

"Having consulted the Parties, on 23 March 2018, the Tribunal declared the hearings in this arbitration closed according to Article 29(1) of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules 1976. On 2 May 2018, having deliberated, the Tribunal issued its unanimous Award on the Merits, addressing issues pertaining to liability and damages," reads a PCA press release published on May 9.

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According to the court ruling, Russia is responsible for violating the rights of Ukrainian investors starting March 21, 2014, when Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the annexation of Crimea.

It is worth noting that this is the first ever ruling under which Russia is compelled to pay compensation in connection with the annexation. The lawsuit against Russia was lodged by 18 Ukrainian companies, as well as by one individual.

The PCA confirmed its jurisdiction over property relations in Crimea in the summer of 2017. Russia did not recognize the award, after which it began to ignore the case. The court reminds that after the hearing on the merits in this matter was held on October 5-6, 2017, the Tribunal invited the parties to file post-hearing submissions by December 11, 2017. The claimants filed their post-hearing brief, together with an additional valuation report, on December 11, 2017. However, the Russian Federation did not file any post-hearing submissions.

The PCA appoints three plenipotentiaries, but the Kremlin refused to nominate its own, so he was appointed in The Hague.

According to Investment Arbitration Reporter, the litigation concerns a number of residential and commercial properties in Russian-occupied Crimea, including hotels, apartment buildings and individual residential apartments.