Russia according to Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov may accept the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ordering it to pay damages about 1.9 billion euros to Yukos shareholders. “The judges rendered a judgment. We have to take it into consideration. We believe that it is ungrounded, but there is nothing we can do,” Konovalov said. At the same time he stressed that the decisions of the ECHR are not binding. “It depends on the goodwill of a Council of Europe member state,” Konovalov said. Still he added that implementation of the decisions of the ECHR are examined by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The ECHR rendered the judgment on July 31. Russia filed a request asking to refer the case to the Grand Chamber which was rejected on Tuesday. After the ECHR announced that the judgment had become final, Russian Ministry of Justice made a statement in which pointed out that it would act taking into consideration “the necessity to protect Russia’s sovereign interests” based on Russian law. Meanwhile, Valery Zorkin, the chairman of Russia’s Constitutional Court, said earlier that Russia was not obliged to ensure implementation of ECHR judgments in case they are inconsistent with the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Besides, he added that ruling in the Yukos case may be submitted for consideration to the Constitutional Court. Russian courts were conferred the right to bring complaints over implementation of the ECHR judgments to the Constitutional Court in the aftermath of the Markin case, according to Zorkin. Markin, a divorced father of three children, applied to the ECHR after Russian military court denied him a parental leave. The ECHR decided in October 2010 that Markin’s rights had been infringed. The ruling became final in March 2012.
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