UPDATE 1-Hague court to order Russia to pay $50 bln in Yukos case -report

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MOSCOW, July 28 (Reuters) - The Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague will announce on Monday that Russia must pay $50 billion to former shareholders of the defunct oil company Yukos, Russian business daily Kommersant reported on its website, citing unnamed sources.

The verdict on the case, which has lasted for almost a decade, is due to be announced against the background of the deepest West-East rift since the end of the Cold War, over Moscow's role in turmoil in Ukraine.

The newspaper said Russia was expected to appeal against the ruling. A group of shareholders in Yukos had made a $100-billion claim against Moscow for expropriating the company that was controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man.

Khodorkovsky, who is not fighting the action, was arrested at gunpoint in 2003 and convicted of theft and tax evasion in 2005. His company, once worth $40 billion, was broken up and nationalised, with most assets handed to Rosneft, a company run by a former aide to President Vladimir Putin.

Rosneft was not immediately available for comments in early business hours on Monday.

The Russian leader pardoned Khodorkovsky in December after the former tycoon spent 10 years in jail. Khodorkovsky is no longer a shareholder in Yukos.

The newspaper said the court ruled that Russia had infringed an international Energy Charter, adopted in 1991, that envisaged legal issues for investments in energy sectors.

The court also ruled, according to the newspaper, that Russia had to start paying the compensation by Jan. 2 next year, otherwise it faces growing interest on the fine.

(Reporting by Tom Miles, Vladimir Soldatkin and Megan Davies; Editing by Sandra Maler and Clarence Fernandez)