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Yukos is asked by Slovakia to sell Transpetrol

OAO Yukos Oil Co. may be forced to sell its 49% stake in Transpetrol AS, a pipeline operator in Slovakia, after the country's government said it wants to buy the shares, the Russian Vedomosti newspaper reported. Slovakia's Economy Ministry told Yukos about a week ago to sell the shares by the end of the year or otherwise they risk having them confiscated through the court system, the newspaper reported, citing an unidentified person close to Yukos management. Transpetrol is part of Yukos Finance BV, an Amsterdam-based unit of Yukos that also holds the company's shares in the Lithuanian Mazeikiu Nafta AB oil refinery. Slovakia is uncomfortable with Yukos's plan to transfer the unit's assets into a trust to make it more difficult for creditors to seize them, the newspaper reported Yukos last year had its largest oil-producing unit, OAO Yuganskneftegaz, confiscated by the Russian government to collect more than $28 million in tax claims.