Economy Minister supports buy-back of Transpetrol

ECONOMY Minister Jirko Malchárek has changed course and admitted the possibility that Slovakia will buy-back its 49 percent stake in the Slovak oil transportation company Transpetrol from Russian oil refinery Yukos.

Just a few weeks ago, the ministry rejected the idea of a buy-back as disadvantageous for Slovakia, the Hospodárske noviny wrote. At the beginning of this year, it had even supported the stake's sale from Yukos to fellow Russian company Russneft.

The government's ruling partners have no information on the buy-back plan so far, as the minister would like to sound out the transaction with Yukos president Steven Theed first.

The two officials should meet within three weeks. The minister did not comment on whether Slovakia will keep the stake or re-privatize it later.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
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