The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration has ruled in favor of the Mytilineos mining group in its dispute with the state of Serbia, a legal battle stemming from a defunct 1996 contract to privatize the state-owned RTB BOR mining company.
Socially owned RTB BOR was active in mineral extraction and metallurgy on the territory of previously unified Serbia and Montenegro.
The international arbitration tribunal ruled that Serbia did, in fact, try to indirectly appropriate the Greek company's investment without due compensation, while not providing a fair treatment of expected by the company by the Serbian state. The primary evidence submitted by Mytilineos was that the Serbian government stopped covering its previous obligations under the contract in 2004.
The court ruled that the Serbian state must pay Mytilineos damages totalling 40 million USD.
In a later press release by Mytilineos, the company emphasized that "... in the face of its multi-million investment being destroyed and its inability to resort to Serbian domestic courts, first, (it) wrote off in its accounting and balance sheet its dues from the Serbian state company RTB Bor, protecting its shareholders (at a cost of millions of Euro) and, second, invoked the protection of the international treaty that Greece had signed with Yugoslavia in 1998 for the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments (BIT).
"Mytilineos filed a claim against the Serbian State pursuant to the procedure provided for in that international treaty, before an arbitral tribunal comprised of Klaus Sachs, a German national, as president, and Doak Bishop, a US national, and Mirko Vasiljević, a Serbian national, as co-arbitrators."