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By Megan Davies, Jack Stubbs and Thomas Escritt MOSCOW/LONDON/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Hague's arbitration court ruled on Monday that Russia must pay a group of shareholders in oil giant Yukos $51.6 billion for expropriating its assets, a big hit for a country teetering on the brink of recession. The arbitration panel in the Netherlands said it had awarded shareholders in the GML group just under half of their $114 billion claim, going some way to covering the money they lost when the Kremlin seized Yukos, once controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. "It's now a question of enforcing it." But Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would most likely appeal the decision, so shareholders, who have battled through the courts for a decade, might have longer to wait. "The Russian side, those agencies which represent Russia in this process, will no doubt use all available legal possibilities to defend its position," he said when news of the award leaked ahead of the official announcement.