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Russia: Sibneft Says Suspends Merger With Yukos

Moscow, 28 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russian oil company Sibneft announced today it has suspended its merger with Russian oil giant Yukos, which had been expected today. Sibneft said the completion of the merger was suspended due to a mutual agreement between shareholders of the two companies. No explanation was given for the decision.

A spokesman for Yukos later told Reuters news agency the announcement was not a joint statement, but declined to give further details.

The announcement comes as Yukos faces continuing pressure from Moscow authorities. Its former chief, Mikhail Khodorkovskii, was arrested on fraud and tax-evasion charges one month ago. The announcement sent Yukos shares down by more than 6 percent.