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New York Court Revives $1 Billion Lawsuit Over Russian Oil Field

The highest court in the U.S. state of New York has reinstated a $1 billion lawsuit filed by Canadian oil company Norex Petroleum in which it claims that two Russian billionaires used armed soldiers and corrupted Russian court proceedings to gain control of a Siberian oil field.

On June 26, the Court of Appeals in the capital, Albany, reversed two lower court rulings and rejected claims by the billionaires -- Leonard Blavatnik and Viktor Vekselberg -- and companies they control that the lawsuit against them exceeded a statute of limitations.

In 2011, Norex claimed that Blavatnik and Vekselberg, who live in New York, orchestrated a takeover of Russian oil company ZAO Yugraneft, in which Norex held a 60 percent stake, and an oil field in Siberia worth hundreds of millions of dollars that it controlled.

Vekselberg did not comment on the court's decision, while Blavatnik said he planned to raise other potential grounds for dismissing the case.

Based on reporting by Bloomberg and Reuters