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Yukos Files For Chapter 11 Protection

by Tatiana Smolenskaya, for LawAndTax-News.com, Moscow

16 December 2004


In a dramatic attempt to halt the auction of its main production unit, beleaguered Russian oil firm Yukos has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States.

"Yukos is asking the court for a temporary restraining order halting the planned Sunday auction of Yuganskneftegaz by Russian authorities," the company announced in a statement. However, observers say that it is uncertain whether the US courts will acknowledge jurisdiction.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Bankruptcy Court of the Southern District of Texas set a "first day" hearing for the Yukos case for yesterday morning.

The Russian government claims that Yukos owes a total of $27.8 billion in back taxes. Yuganskneftegaz was set to be auctioned on December 19 to cover part of the tax bill.

However, it has been suggested that the tax liabilities were engineered in such as way as to allow the transfer of the key unit to a company with closer connections to the Kremlin, such as state gas giant Gazprom.


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