News Column

Kremlin's 'threat to Yukos investor'

August 2, 2014

By Rob Davies, Daily Mail, London

Aug. 02--The main shareholder of defunct oil company Yukos has accused Kremlin energy kingpin Igor Sechin of threatening his safety, after he was allegedly advised to 'take care of himself'.

Russia was ordered to hand over pounds sterling 30bn by an international court this week in a victory for GML, a group comprised of former shareholders of Yukos. GML, which is 70pc owned by Leonid Nevzlin, has fought a 10-year campaign to win compensation after Yukos' assets were seized in 2003 and auctioned off to state-backed Rosneft.

The group said that if Russia did not pay up it would pursue state assets, including those belonging to Rosneft, 20pc owned by BP.

But Rosneft president and Vladimir Putin ally Igor Sechin warned GML he would not give in without a fight.

'First they got these assets for free, didn't pay the state even for loans given by the finance ministry. And now they have become foreign investors and are claiming from the Russian Federation some significant, stunning amounts. I think these decisions will be appealed. And Nevzlin should take care of himself.'

The translation of the remarks was provided by GML, and Rosneft could not be reached for comment. In a response sent to the Daily Mail, Nevzlin lashed out at Sechin, whose statement he perceived as menacing.

'Instead of demonstrating respect for international law, Igor Sechin whose company Rosneft was illegally gifted Yukos' assets by the Russian government chose publicly to make a personal threat to my safety,' said Nevzlin.

He said the comment was a 'worrying and unwelcome development in a 15-year campaign of slander, persecution and intimidation'.

Nevzlin became the majority shareholder in GML when former Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky handed over his own stake after he was imprisoned.

Khodorkovsky was arrested at gunpoint in 2003 on charges of tax evasion and jailed for 10 years until his released in 2013.

He has said he no longer lays any claim to former Yukos assets.


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Source: Daily Mail (London, England)

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