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Russia Announces Plans To Sell Part Of Yukos

12 October 2004 -- Russia's Justice Ministry has reportedly announced plans to sell some assets of the Yukos oil company to cover the company's outstanding back taxes.

Interfax news agency says the government will sell part of Yuganskneftegaz, Yukos's largest oil subsidiary. Yuganskneftegaz reportedly pumps about 60 percent of Yukos's oil.

It's not clear how much money the sale would bring, but the Associated Press news agency reports the government values Yuganskneftegaz at around $10.4 billion.

The government says Yukos owes some $7 billion in back taxes from 2000 and 2001. The company has denied the charges, saying the government is trying to force it into bankruptcy.

In an initial reaction today, Yukos spokesman Aleksandr Shadrin said he couldn't comment on what he called the government's "mythical figures."