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Reports: Russia Court Cancels Yukos Ruling
Wednesday November 30, 4:19 am ET
Reports: Russian Court Cancels Ruling Allowing Western Banks to Reclaim Loan From Yukos
MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian court Wednesday repealed an earlier ruling upholding a request by a syndicate of Western banks to force the shattered Yukos oil company to repay an outstanding US$475 million (euro403 million) loan, news agencies reported.
The Federal Arbitration Court overturned a September decision by the Moscow Arbitration Court that allows the 14 banks to enforce a claim granted in June by London's High Court, which found Yukos had defaulted on the loan, which totaled US$1 billion (euro849 million) when issued in 2003, the Interfax, RIA Novosti and ITAR-Tass news agencies said.
Acting on Yukos' appeal, the court sent the case back to the Moscow Arbitration Court for a repeat consideration, the reports said.
Yukos, which was once Russia's largest oil producer, paid down more than half of the original amount and was fighting to stay afloat while its assets remain frozen amid ongoing efforts by Russian tax authorities to claim billions in back taxes.
The tax probe led to Yukos' biggest fields being transferred to the state in December, while the company's founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was sentenced in May to eight years in prison on tax evasion and fraud charges. The crackdown on Yukos was widely seen as a Kremlin-inspired effort to quash Khodorkovsky's political aspirations and secure control over the crucial oil sector.