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Russia: Media-MOST, Gazprom Agree On Debts

Moscow, 13 November 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian news agencies said today that Media-MOST and Gazprom have reached a settlement involving nearly $222 million that the independent media group owes the gas company. The debts would be settled by transferring Media-MOST shares to Gazprom. Media-MOST spokesman Dmitry Ostalsky said the agreement reached over the weekend does not involve editorial issues or personnel matters.

He said details will be disclosed tomorrow at a Moscow court hearing of a lawsuit filed by Gazprom to recover its debts.

The agencies also said that Media-MOST head Vladimir Gusinsky will not appear in court today to answer embezzlement charges. Gusinsky was jailed for three days in June on similar charges. He was released after a previous agreement to settle Media-MOST debts, which Gusinsky says he was forced to sign.