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US Court Deciding If it Has Jurisdiction in Yukos Case

A U.S. bankruptcy court is considering whether it has jurisdiction in a case filed by the embattled Russian oil giant Yukos. Yukos filed the case with the court in Houston, Texas last year to stop a Russian court-ordered auction of its key production unit, Yuganskneftgaz.

The U.S. court issued an injunction against the sale, but it went on anyway. Yukos assets in the United States are bank accounts and a home owned by the company's financial chief.

Yukos is now suing Russian energy firms including the natural gas giant Gazprom and the state-owned Rosneft for $20 billion in damages. A planned merger between Gazprom and Rosneft has been put on hold to wait for the decision from the U.S. court.

Critics call the Russian government probe of Yukos politically motivated because former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky had supported the opposition. The Kremlin says Yukos owes billions in back taxes.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.