- Title: RUSSIA: BAILIFFS START TO MOVE AGAINST YUKOS.
- Date: 10th July 2004
- Summary: (W6) MOSCOW, RUSSIA (JULY 9, 2004) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. LAS/TILT DOWN: BUILDING OF THE YUKOS HEADQUARTERS 0.11 2. GV: YUKOS STAFF ENTERING THE BUILDING 0.19 3. GV/CU: EXTERIOR OF "M-REYESTR" COMPANY, THE MOSCOW REGISTRAR'S OFFICE WHERE DETAILS OF YUKOS ASSETS ARE KEPT (2 SHOTS) 0.27 4. CU: SIGN READING "M-REYESTR" 0.32 5. GV: TRUCK DRIVING THROUGH THE GATES LEADING TO "M-REYESTR" PREMISES 0.40 6. CU: SECURITY GUARD BY THE GATES 0.46 7. GV/PAN: BAILIFFS CAR DRIVING THROUGH THE GATES, DRIVING AWAY 1.13 8. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) ROMAN, YUKOS EMPLOYEE, SAYING: "Now redistribution of property going on, shares from one person will move to another, but there are company's staff, more than 100.000 people and they all are very worried right now." 1.27 9. GV: STREET, CARS DRIVING 1.34 10. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) NATASHA, MOSCOVITE, SAYING: "I think it's the redistribution of the property, there is a new government, new people which Putin brought with him and they are redistributing property now." 1.46 11. GV: CAR DRIVING THROUGH THE GATES 1.56 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 25th July 2004 13:00
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Reuters ID: LVA7UZ6402I8SPEY54MUZQ4FPGTE
- Story Text: Bailiffs start to move against YUKOS.
Russian authorities on Friday (July 9), refused to
give YUKOS an extension on paying its $3.4-billion tax bill
as bailiffs started to move in on the beleaguered oil firm.
On Friday the bailiffs were starting to move against the
company though it appeared that they had not yet gone as
far as selling off assets.
They removed computer servers from M-Reyestr, the
Moscow registrar's office where details of YUKOS assets are
Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said the firm had enough
assets to sell to cover the bill but it was not clear
whether he expected YUKOS itself or bailiffs to raise the
The legal battle against YUKOS, which many believe is
driven by the Kremlin trying to crush the political
ambitions of the oil firm's main owner, Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, has led to fears that one of Russia's most
profitable firms could be driven into bankruptcy.
But that could undermine Russia's economy, analysts
"There is no question of an extension. The shareholders
and management have assets which they can sell. Of course,
a certain delay can be given according to law to sell these
assets. No other decisions are needed here," Kudrin told
He said the oil company -- which employs more than
100,000 people and accounts for a fifth of Russian oil
output -- had sufficient assets to pay the tax bill, which
was due to have been settled on Wednesday (July 7) night.
The issue has also raised questions over whether
Russia, the world's second biggest oil exporter after Saudi
Arabia, would be able to maintain output. The country's top
energy official ruled out any impact.
And Prime-TASS news agency quoted Andrei Belyakov,
head of the Justice Ministry's bailiff service, as saying
his staff were searching for YUKOS assets and cash in
Tomsk, the Siberian town which is one of three major YUKOS oil
"But we are not going to destroy the company's
operational activities; at least we are not intending to do
this," he said.
"If they don't want to voluntarily honour the court
decision then we will fight tough, and without compromise,
for this (payment of back taxes) in line with the powers
given to us by the law," Belyakov was quoted as saying.
YUKOS denied local media reports that its key bank
accounts were frozen in Tomsk, a move that could force it
to halt production.
It said bailiffs there have seized accounts of its
charity fund, but so-called transit accounts, key for
day-to-day operations, were not under threat.
President Vladimir Putin is under mounting pressure not
to ruin YUKOS in the Kremlin-led legal battle with YUKOS's
main shareholder Khodorkovsky.
Khodorkovsky, in jail since October, is due to go back
into court on Monday (July 12)for his trial on charges of
tax evasion and fraud.
Analysts have warned that a collapse of YUKOS would hit
the economy hard, deterring investors concerned that the
case only highlights the risks of dealing with Russia's
murky legal system and an unpredictable Kremlin, nervous of
threats to its power.
Those concerns, they say, may be enough for Putin to
hold back so as not to damage prospects of economic growth.
YUKOS itself says it is still hoping for an amicable
settlement, though it disagrees with the tax charge which
could mushroom to $10 billion.
In the end analysts say the final decision appears to
be with Putin and a Kremlin which looks to be intent on
subduing Russia's billionaire businessmen who grabbed their
fortunes in the early rough and tumble days after the
Soviet Union collapsed.
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