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Yukos Files Bankruptcy Reorganization Plan

Russia's giant oil firm, Yukos, has filed a reorganization plan with a U.S. bankruptcy court and has announced it has filed a $20 billion suit against four Russian energy firms.

The plan, filed with a bankruptcy court in Texas Friday, seeks a May 1 deadline for creditors to file any claims on its assets. Yukos also asks the court to send its tax dispute with the Russian government to international arbitration.

Yukos said it is suing the Russian energy firms: the state gas monopoly Gazprom, the firm Gazpromneft, the Baikal Finance Group and Russia's state-run oil firm Rosneft, in connection with a Russian court-ordered December sale of the Yukos chief production unit, Yuganskneftgaz. Russian authorities auctioned the unit in what they called an effort to recover more than $27 billion in back taxes.

Critics call Russian government action against Yukos politically motivated because of the support of its former head, Mikhail Khodorkovsky for the political opposition. The Kremlin has denied the charge.