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Kremlin Auctions Yukos Foreign Assets


A company with reported ties to Russia's state-owned oil giant Rosneft has won an auction for the foreign assets of the bankrupt Yukos oil company.

Promneftstroi bought the Dutch-registered Yukos Finance Wednesday for $306 million - far less than what former Yukos managers say it is worth.

Assets of Yukos Finance include a large stake in Slovakia's oil pipeline monopoly and revenue from a Lithuanian refinery.

A spokeswoman for former Yukos managers in London bitterly denounced the auction as a farce, saying the winners bought nothing because she says the auction was illegal.

Rosneft denies any part in Wednesday's sale. It became Russia's largest oil company when the Kremlin seized the privately-owned Yukos firm for back taxes allegedly owed by its imprisoned former chief, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Khodorkovsky and his supporters say the case against him is Kremlin retaliation for his support of opposition politicians. The Kremlin denies the accusations and has been auctioning off Yukos assets.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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