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Creditor Banks File Bankruptcy Suit Against Yukos

(AFP) March 10, 2006 -- Foreign banks that once extended credits to Russia's embattled Yukos oil company have filed a lawsuit demanding that the company be declared bankrupt.

Russian media said a joint lawsuit was submitted today to Moscow's Court of Arbitration.

Yukos, once Russia's biggest oil producer, was broken up in late 2004 by Russian authorities after the company was unable to meet demands for around $25 billion in back taxes and fines. Most of the company's assets have been impounded and its largest production unit, Yuganskneftegaz, is now being owned by state oil company Rosneft.

International creditors are reportedly seeking to retrieve nearly $500 million.

Yukos' former chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year prison sentence for fraud and tax evasion after a trial that was widely viewed as the Kremlin's response to his political aspirations.

(compiled from agency reports)

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