April 11, 2017 / 11:51 AM / 9 months ago

Ukraine's DTEK to seek $500 mln from Russia for Crimea losses

KIEV, April 11 (Reuters) - Ukraine’s largest private power and coal producer, DTEK, will seek compensation from Russia for the loss of its Crimea-based assets following the 2014 annexation, the company said on Tuesday, estimating its losses to be at least $500 million.

The Ukrainian state and a number of Ukrainian firms, including banks, are in the process of seeking redress for lost assets and revenue as a result of the illegal seizure of the Black Sea peninsula by Russia from Ukraine.

DTEK said it had taken a few years to assemble the documents needed for its claim, but it was now in a position to negotiate for compensation for its loss of its stake in Krymenergo.

“If the dispute is not solved through talks, DTEK Krymenergo is prepared to submit it for consideration by international arbitrage,” DTEK said in a statement.

“The amount of compensation for actual and potential losses ... could amount to more than $500 million,” it said.

The Russian Energy Ministry declined to comment on the claim. Russia has previously declined to contest legal claims over Crimea by Ukrainian firms, arguing that international arbitrators had no jurisdiction.

The annexation and subsequent Russia-backed separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine has hit the fortunes of DTEK, many of whose mines lie in the coal-rich Donbass basin that has been the epicentre of three years of fighting.

In March, DTEK said it had lost control of its largest mines in rebel-held territory, as well as a power plant and power distribution business.

DTEK is part of the business empire of Ukraine’s richest man, Rinat Akhmetov.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Additional reporting by Anton Zverev in Moscow; Writing by Alessandra Prentice

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