Israel to Seek Damages from Russia for Breaking Oil Agreement

An Israeli delegation consisting of two attorneys will leave for Moscow next month to place before the Moscow Chamber of Commerce arbitration court Israel’s demand for damages caused by the unilateral breaching of a contract by the USSR to supply Israel with crude oil. The contract was breached after the Sinai campaign.

The case has significance far beyond Israel’s request for damages. It will be watched intensely by trade circles in West Europe, for if the USSR establishes the principle that for political reasons it may renege on trade pacts, other Soviet trade commitments may be affected.

The Israeli attorneys, Zev Argaman and Y. Schlossberg, will also ask re-establishment of the contract. When the Soviet oil company refused to fulfill its bargain, it pleaded instructions from the government. The Israeli position will be that since the company is state-controlled, it cannot claim to have been prevented from carrying out its part of the contract because of the higher authority of the Soviet State.

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