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Slovak pipeline stake could be transferred to Russia

Slovakia, who wants to retrieve 49% of its shares in pipeline operator Transpetrol, could subsequently transfer the stake to Russia, a Russian delegate said.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico announced on Thursday the country planned to buy the stake back from Netherlands-based Yukos Finance B.V., a former overseas asset of bankrupt Russian oil company Yukos. “Slovakia is buying the stake, which could be transferred to the Russian side on certain conditions. The conditions are being drafted,” the Russian delegation source said. Yukos Finance used to control the overseas assets of Yukos until the oil company went bust over back tax charges filed by the Russian authorities and was auctioned off last year.

Little-known company Promneftstroi bought Yukos Finance last summer. But an Amsterdam court ruled in early March that Yukos Finance could sell the Transpetrol stake, rejecting a motion by Promneftstroi and Russian government-run oil company Rosneft that the shares be seized. The Slovak government, which already owns 51% of Transpetrol shares, announced it wanted to buy the stake. (