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News // Russia

Russian Politician: Oil Firms Nationalization Necessary

12 January 2005 , 08:11604
Rusian economy minister German Gref told reporters of Russian daily Kommersant that the government?s direct involvement in oil business was "unjustified".

He was talking about the sale of much of oil giant Yukos to cover back tax claims.
On 28 December, another senior economic adviser called the sale "the swindle of the century".

Earlier the main Yukos? production unit Yuganskneftegaz, had been seized and sold in December for less than $10bn to a previously unknown firm called Baikal Finance Group.

German Gref, is a well-known opponent of nationalization in competitive parts of the market in Russia. He considers, the privatisation of companies such as Yukos in the 1990s had not been handled in a proper way. But he emphasized that the country?s government needed to get out of oil.

"I think that Rosneft and Yuganskneftegaz, should it become a state-owned company, must be privatized," he said.

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