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Russia: Yukos Head Khodorkovskii Resigns

Moscow, 3 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Mikhail Khodorkovskii, the detained head of Russia's oil giant Yukos, said today in a statement that he has resigned as chief executive officer of the company to focus his attention on work to support "civic initiatives to build an open and genuinely democratic society in Russia." Khodorkovskii said that Yukos was the first among Russian companies to "pursue consistently principles of financial transparency and social responsibility." He added that "the situation as it stands today" compelled him to give up plans to work further in Yukos and he decided to leave to spare the company from "attack directed against me and my partners."

Khodorkovskii said his future plans concern continuing work as head of the public foundation Open Russia.

Khodorkovskii's resignation was confirmed by Yukos officials.

Khodorkovskii was arrested on 25 October on charges of fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors then froze a controlling stake in the Yukos oil company belonging to Khodorkovskii and his associates.