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Russian Officials Move To Give Yukos Access To Accounts

11 August 2004 -- Russian energy officials have asked government bailiffs to give Yukos access to its frozen bank accounts.

The officials say oil production and exports from the country could be substantially cut if the embattled oil company is forced to cut output.

Reports quote Sergei Oganesyan, head of the Federal Energy Agency, as saying a drop in production from Yukos -- Russia's largest oil producer -- could be detrimental to the country as a whole.

Bailiffs have frozen Yukos accounts as they move to collect on the company's $3.4 billion dollars tax debt for 2000, part of a series of tax claims and court cases.

Energy and Industry Ministry spokesman Yan Pekhonen confirmed the request had been made.