PM WANTS TO HALT THE SALE OF TRANSPETROL STAKE

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SLOVAK PM Mikuláš Dzurinda wants to halt the sale of a 49 percent stake in the oil transportation company Transpetrol to the Russian oil company Russneft.

Russneft plans to buy the stake for $103 million (Sk3.3 billion) from another Russian company, Yukos, which is selling its assets to pay back taxes. Therefore, putting a hold on the transaction could suggest the Slovak government wants to decrease the country's dependence on Russian energy sources.

The PM mentioned the possibility to SME daily, but his spokesman, Martin Maruška, would neither confirm nor deny the information.

Meanwhile, on March 16, the Slovak Antitrust Office received a concentration announcement from Russneft related to the acquisition of the 49-percent share from Yukos Finance B. V.

The Economy Ministry is refusing to comment. Yukos is expected to complete the deal within 90 days of submitting the application to PMÚ, SITA news wire wrote.

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