Sergei Lavrov (file photo)
17 December 2004 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today the situation surrounding the auction of the Yukos oil giant's core asset should be settled according to Russian law.
Lavrov's comment came after a U.S. court issued an order temporarily barring the planned 19 December sale. Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as characterizing the move as "ideologized and politicized."
Yesterday, a U.S. bankruptcy court ordered a 10-day halt to the sale, but specifically excluded Moscow from the list of entities barred from participating in the sale due to the sovereign immunity of foreign governments in U.S. courts.
However, the order bars Gazpromneft, a subsidiary of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom which is to bid for Yuganskneftegaz, from taking part in the auction.
Earlier today Russia's Federal Property Fund said the sale is to due to go ahead "as planned."
Gazprom Positions Itself To Win Yuganskneftegaz Tender