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China Denies Offering Loan to Russian Oil Firm


China's foreign ministry has denied reports that Chinese banks loaned six billion dollars to a Russian bank to buy the main oil production unit of the Yukos energy company.

Russia's finance minister said Wednesday that Chinese funds helped a Russian bank and the Roseneft state-owned oil firm buy ex-Yukos unit Yuganskneftegaz.

But after his comments, Roseneft and the finance ministry said the Chinese funds were used to buy oil, not to buy Yugansk.

The Chinese foreign ministry Thursday confirmed that it did not provide any loans for the Yugansk deal, but it did not say if the funds were used to purchase oil.

The Yugansk company was sold last December to a mysterious buyer in a $9 billion deal that President Vladimir Putin's economic advisor called "the fraud of the year."

Yukos has challenged the sale in U.S. courts.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.