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Chinese Banks Loan Billions to Fund Sale of Russian Oil Unit

A top Russian official says a state-owned bank obtained $6 billion in loans from Chinese banks to help finance the takeover of the main oil production unit of the embattled Yukos energy company.

Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin says Vnesheconombank bank borrowed the money to help Rosneft - a state-owned oil firm - purchase Yuganskneftegaz. The controversial sale culminated a long legal campaign waged by the Kremlin against Yukos and its billionaire owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Russian authorities auctioned off some of Yukos' major assets to pay off a $28 billion bill for back taxes. Analysts say the loan may help ensure China of badly needed oil to satisfy its ever-growing demand.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.