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YUKOS renews US court battle over assets sales

YUKOS renews US court battle over assets sales
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A judge in Houston, Texas is considering whether the Russian oil company YUKOS can use the US legal system to protect itself against moves by the Kremlin. YUKOS’ lawyers are arguing that the company does have a genuine presence in the US, with bank accounts and an executive based there, and so the Texas court has jurisdiction. Germany’s Deutsche Bank was blocked by a US judge’s ruling from financing the purchase of YUKOS main production unit, Yuganskneftegaz, which was being sold to cover billions of euros in tax demands.

The bank, along with prospective purchaser Gazprom, has filed an appeal accusing YUKOS of trying to artificially create a judicial basis for a US court’s interference in its dispute with the Russian government. Legal experts say it is unlikely that YUKOS will win the right to have the matter ruled on by a US court. YUKOS management has confirmed its readiness to sue anyone involved in the purchase of Yuganskneftegaz. The company recently filed 15 billion euros of financial claims against various Russian state owned energy firms, accusing them of participating in the expropriation of Yuganskneftegaz.