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Slovakia wants to discuss Transpetrol

SLOVAKIA wants to recover its shares in Slovak oil distribution company Transpetrol from Russia, the daily SME reported.

Russian oil company Yukos bought 49 percent of Transpetrol in 2001 in a privatization sale. However, after the arrest of former Yukos president Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Kremlin took control of the Russian oil giant.

Slovak Economy Minister Jirko Malchárek contacted the Slovak Ambassador in Moscow on October 7. "In a few days we will have a scenario for how to start negotiations officially [with Russia]," said Malchárek.

There are several ways to solve the situation. Slovakia might buy back the Transpetrol shares, or agree with the sale of the stake to a third firm. Russian president Vladimir Putin said in Bratislava in February that Tartar oil company Tatneft could be a buyer.

A unilateral cancellation of the privatization deal by Slovakia represents a third option.

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