Top Ukrainian court rules key oil transport pipeline company rightfully nationalized

The Supreme Court rejected the cassation appeal of Prykarpatzakhidtrans LLC against the decisions of the first and appellate courts regarding the return of the Ukrainian part of the main oil pipeline "Samara-Western direction" to state ownership, announced the head of the State Property Fund Vitaliy Koval.

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State court decisions recognized ownership of the technological complex of the part of the pipeline located on the territory of Ukraine, known as the "Medvedchuk Pipe" – after the name of the former Ukrainian lawyer and politician, who was attributed control over the pipe.

Court cases aimed at returning the pipeline to state ownership have been ongoing since 2011.

Initially, the Commercial Court of Rivne Oblast recognized Ukraine's ownership of the Ukrainian part of the oil pipeline. In 2017, it changed its decision and recognized its ownership by a subsidiary of Russian Transnefteprodukt.

In 2017, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office began an investigation into the circumstances of the transfer of ownership. According to NABU, the basis of the new court decision was a deliberately false conclusion of the engineering and technical examination. As part of the investigation, they appealed to the court with a request to seize the asset.

On February 19, 2021, the National Security and Defense Council commissioned the Prykarpatzakhidtrans oil pipeline to be returned to state ownership. On February 23, the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine seized the property of Prykarpatzakhidtrans and handed it over to the state Asset Recovery and Management Agency.

According to ARMA's decision, Ukrtransnafta, a subsidiary of Naftogaz of Ukraine, became the manager of this pipeline.

Simultaneously with the investigation by law enforcement agencies, the State Property Fund began a new attempt to return the asset to state ownership. In 2021, the State Property Fund filed a lawsuit with the Economic Court of Zhytomyr Oblast, in which it requested that this asset be recognized as state-owned. This attempt ended successfully in 2023-2024.

On January 13, 2023, the Verkhovna Rada deprived pro-Russian MP Viktor Medvedchuk of his mandate, and in May 2023, he was deprived of the status of a lawyer.

Now Medvedchuk and his wife live in Russia, where he was given in exchange for the Ukrainian military.