MOSCOW, September 20 (RAPSI) – Ukrainian largest oil and gas corporation Naftogaz has filed a lawsuit with the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague seeking to recover $5 billion from Russia due to losses of assets in Crimea, the company’s statement reads on Wednesday.

The plaintiffs in the case are Naftogaz and six companies of the Naftogaz Group. Their interests will be represented by Covington & Burling LLP law firm, known for providing legal assistance to former shareholders of Yukos in a dispute with Russia.

According to the plaintiffs, Russia unlawfully seized Naftogaz Group’s property in Crimea.

The company expects to hear the court’s ruling in the case by the end of 2018.

On July 4, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled to proceed with two arbitrations commenced by Ukrainian oil and gas companies over losses allegedly caused by Russia’s actions in Crimea. The Court ruled that it has jurisdiction in these cases. Both claims were filed on June 15, 2015, under the 1998 bilateral treaty between Ukraine and Russia.

The first legal action was brought by Ukrnafta, one of Ukraine's largest oil and gas companies. The second action was brought a number of Ukrainian companies, including Stabil, Rubenor, Rustel, Novel-Estate, PII Kirovograd-Nafta, Crimea-Petrol, Pirsan, Trade-Trust, Elefteria, Satek, Stemv Group.

Ukrainian companies allege that in April 2014 Russia breached its obligations under the treaty by “interfering with and ultimately expropriating their investments in petrol stations located in Crimea.”