The integrity, professionalism and independence of Russian justice

Try not to laugh.  From the Economist on the Yukos-Rosneft legal battle, emphasis mine.

The injunctions, which stop Rosneft from making payments from its local accounts, have put its oil traders and its creditors into a spin. They put Rosneft into technical default on loans from foreign banks which are secured by sale contracts between Rosneft and its customers. As Russia’s largest oil company, it is certainly good for the money: the disputed sum represents just 10% of last year’s profit. But it is the first time that Rosneft has been materially affected by its controversial acquisition of Yukos’s assets.

The timing is particularly important given a $98 billion claim made in the European Court of Human Rights against Russia by Yukos before its destruction. Despite Russia’s protests that Yukos no longer exists, the court accepted the case; a judgment is pending. In its defence, Russia argued that “the integrity, professionalism and independence” of Russian courts has not been challenged. But the European Court, which regularly overturns Russian legal judgments, may have a different view. If it finds in Yukos’s favour, the shareholders could seek enforcement in any court in Europe.