A United States judge has dismissed an attempt by Russian oil giant Yukos to gain bankruptcy protection in America. Yukos filed the claim in Texas in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the sell-off of its main oil producing unit by Russian authorities in December. It had argued that since it held local bank accounts, a US court was entitled to declare it bankrupt – before some of its assets were auctioned off to help pay a huge tax bill.
But the judge said Yukos did not have enough of a US presence to establish US jurisdiction, adding that the issue required the participation of the Russian government. The ruling came just hours after a summit between the US and Russian presidents. Yukos has claimed it is the victim of a campaign organised by the Kremlin to destroy it and former owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who faces 10 years in jail for alleged fraud and tax evasion. Shares in Yukos fell by 13 per cent this morning in Moscow.