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Moscow Court Bans Sale Of Yukos' Foreign Assets

(AFP) March 30, 2006 -- Moscow's Arbitration Court has banned the management of Russia's embattled Yukos oil company from selling the company's foreign assets.

The court is currently considering a bankruptcy suit against Yukos filed by a consortium of Western banks after the company defaulted on a loan worth some $500 million.

The court ruled that Yukos's assets abroad could not be sold without the prior approval of bankruptcy supervisors.

Yukos is reportedly involved in negotiations with the Lithuanian government about selling its controlling stake in the Mazeikiu Nafta oil company.

Yukos, once Russia's biggest oil producer, was founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for fraud and tax evasion. The company has been broken up to pay off billions of dollars in back taxes.

(Interfax, AP, BNS)

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