PAO Tatneft v Ukraine - United States District Court for the District of Columbia - Civil Action No 2017-0582 - Memorandum Opinion - 19 March 2018
This matter comes before the Court on review of an arbitration award pursuant to the 1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards ("New York Convention" or "Convention") and its implementing legislation, 9 U.S.C. §§ 201-208. Petitioner Pao Tatneft ("Tatneft" or "Petitioner") seeks recognition and enforcement of the Award on the Merits ("Merits Award") conferred in OAO Tatneft v. Ukraine, an arbitration conducted under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, seated in Paris, France, and pursuant to the 1976 Arbitration Rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law ("UNICITRAL") and the 1998 Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the Encouragement and Mutual Protection of Investments, otherwise known as the Russia-Ukraine Bilateral Investment Treaty. The arbitral tribunal issued its Merits Award in favor of Petitioner on July 29, 2014, Respondent Ukraine ("Ukraine" or "Respondent") was directed to pay Tatneft 112 million in United States Dollars in damages plus interest. That Merits Award was upheld by the Paris Court of Appeal when Ukraine moved to overturn it.
On March 30, 2017, Tatneft filed its Petition to Confirm Arbitral Award and to Enter Judgment in favor of Petitioner, which is opposed by Ukraine. On June 12, 2017, Ukraine filed a motion to stay proceedings in this Court, pending the outcome of a foreign set-aside proceeding, which was opposed by Tatneft. Subsequently, Ukraine filed both a motion to dismiss the petition and a motion for jurisdictional discovery. Because the Petition and three motions filed by Ukraine are interrelated, they will be considered by the Court together. For the reasons explained below, the Court shall DENY Respondent's Motion to Dismiss, DENY Respondent's Motion for Leave to take Jurisdictional Discovery, DENY Respondent's Motion to Stay, and HOLD IN ABEYANCE Tatneft's Petition for enforcement of the arbitration award until Tatneft submits additional briefing with regard to the issues raised in Ukraine's Opposition to Tatneft's Petition.1
For the foregoing reasons, the Court shall DENY Respondent Ukraine's Motion to Dismiss, DENY Respondent Ukraine's Motion for Leave to Take Jurisdictional Discovery, and DENY Respondent Ukraine's Motion to Stay. Petitioner Tatneft is permitted until April 19, 2018 to file its reply to Ukraine's Opposition to Tatneft's Petition, and the Petition is HELD IN ABEYANCE until that time. An appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum Opinion.