High court rejects Russian company's dispute with Ukraine

People gather as the Supreme Court begins its new term and to hear the first arguments, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. Monday's session is also the first time new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court's first Black female justice, will participate. And it's the first time the public will be able to attend since the court closed in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is siding with a Russian oil company in a dispute with Ukraine worth millions, a win for the company as Russia continues to wage war in Ukraine.

The justices said Monday they would not intervene in a dispute between PAO Tatneft, one of Russia's largest oil companies, and Ukraine. The case will continue in lower U.S. courts which have sided with the company and declined to dismiss the case.

As is typical, the high court did not comment on the case but said only it would not hear it. The dispute is one of many the court said Monday it would not hear. Monday is the first day the court is hearing arguments after a summer break.

The case the court rejected dates back to the late 1990s and early 2000s and involves Ukraine's largest oil refinery, the Kremenchuk oil refinery, which was destroyed by Russia in April. The refinery was originally half-owned by Ukraine and half-owned jointly by Tatneft and by the oil-rich Russian region of Tatarstan. A dispute between the parties led to arbitration in which Ukraine was ordered in 2014 to pay $112 million plus interest.

Tatneft has tried using courts in the United States to seek compensation, but Ukraine says the U.S. has no connection to the case. Lawyers for Ukraine say Tatneft should be using courts in Ukraine which, despite the war, “remain open and would fairly consider Tatneft's request for relief.”

The case is Ukraine v. PAO Tatneft, 22-19.