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Russia's LUKoil Pulls Out Of Three Central European States

Russia's second-largest oil producer, LUKoil, says it is selling its filling stations in three Central European nations.

LUKoil said in a statement on August 4 it was selling its gas stations in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia as part of an "optimization" plan.

The decision came just days after LUKoil's chief executive, Vagit Alekperov, said the company will likely be forced to trim its investment program as a result of Western sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

The European Union and the United States have so far refrained from imposing sanctions on LUKoil, but their latest rounds of sanctions shut Russia's state-owned banks out of Western capital markets, in turn limiting Russian companies' access to financing both at home and abroad.

LUKoil had earlier announced it was pulling out of Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Reuters, ITAR-TASS, and "The Moscow Times"