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Moscow to Sell Part of Yukos Oil Giant for Back Taxes - 2004-10-12

The Russian justice ministry says it will sell off part of oil giant Yukos in order to cover the company's outstanding back taxes.

Ministry officials said Tuesday the value of a Yukos subsidiary Yuganskneftegaz has been established so the government can prepare for the sale. Officials say Yukos has been taking too much time in paying its back taxes.

A Russian court ruled Monday the embattled company must pay nearly all of the $1.34 billion in fines connected to its 2001 tax bill. Yukos is already struggling to pay $3.4 billion in taxes and fines for 2000, and $2.7 billion in taxes for 2001.

Government critics charge the actions against Yukos are in retaliation for support the firm's former chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky gave to the political opposition.