Ukraine's supreme court affirms state ownership of Samara – Western Direction pipeline section
The Supreme Court has officially recognized the Ukrainian government's ownership of a key section of the Samara – Western Direction oil pipeline
This is according to an announcement by Vitaliy Koval, the head of the State Property Fund of Ukraine.
Koval explained, "The pipeline, constructed during the USSR era, was intended to become state property following Ukraine's declaration of independence. However, this transfer did not occur, and it remained under the control of the Russian company Transnefteproduct for many years."
Highlighting the recent legal development, Koval stated, "On January 31, the Supreme Court dismissed the cassation appeal, affirming Ukraine's rightful claim to the property."
He added that the process of officially registering the state's ownership of the pipeline is currently underway.
Efforts to return ownership of the pipeline to Ukraine
Since 2011, court cases aimed at reclaiming the pipeline for state ownership have unfolded. Initially, the Commercial Court of the Rivne region acknowledged Ukraine's ownership, but in 2017, it reversed this decision in favor of the Transnefteproduct subsidiary.
In response, NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office launched an investigation in 2017, highlighting a falsified engineering and technical examination report as the basis for the court's revised decision. This led to a court petition to seize the asset, granted in February 2021 by the High Anti-Corruption Court. JSC "Ukrtransnafta" took over management with all required documentation.
Simultaneously, the State Property Fund pursued legal action to reclaim the asset. In 2021, they filed a lawsuit with the Economic Court of the Zhytomyr region. Only in June 2023 did the court rule in favor of the State Property Fund, recognizing the asset as state-owned.
In 2021, President Zelenskyy endorsed the NSDC decision to return 1,433 km of the pipeline to state ownership.
On July 12, 2023, the Commercial Court of the Zhytomyr region ruled in favor of the State Property Fund, acknowledging state ownership of the Ukrainian section of the Samara – Western Direction oil pipeline.