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Russia´s prime minister said October 31, 2003 he was deeply concerned by the freezing of shares in oil giant YUKOS -- the closest any top official has come to publicly criticizing the Kremlin´s handling of the crisis. ´I will refrain from any assessment but my concern is great,´ Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov was shown saying on Russia´s NTV channel, a day after prosecutors blocked a large stake in YUKOS and a top presidential aide quit in protest. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, seen at an October 20 press conference in Moscow, was arrested over the weekend and charged with seven counts of tax evasion and massive fraud.
Russia Arrests Head of Largest Oil Co.
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In terms of protecting Eastern Hemisphere oil reserves, Russia still had one more hurdle to clear, in the form of Moscow-based Mikhail Khodorkovsky. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Khodorkovsky acted as the principal front man, grabbing cheap oil assets in rigged auctions. In 1995 he pulled the same trick again, rigging an auction at which he paid a mere $200 million for Yukos, a Russian oil major worth at least $14 billon.

Control of Yukos made Khodorkovsky very dangerous to Russian national security, because the company controls nearly two thirds of Russia’s strategic oil pipelines, including most of those feeding Eastern Europe. Russia is now the second-largest oil producer in the world, and Khodorkovsky’s actions prove he intended to exploit this, by selling 51% of Yukos to ExxonMobil, America’s largest oil multinational. In turn, this would have placed Russian crude oil reserves under direct [NWO], a situation the Kremlin was not prepared to tolerate.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested while en-route to the Russian Far East, though rumor suggests he knew about the plan to arrest him, and actually intended to flee the country via Vladivostok. A spokesman for Yukos said that government security agents rushed Khodorkovsky´s private jet at 5am on Saturday [Nov 1] during a refuelling stop in Siberia, shouting, "Weapons on the floor or we´ll shoot." Khodorkovsky initially faces seven charges including fraud and tax evasion, with possible [consecutive] jail sentences of up to forty years. It could get far worse if prosecutors add the charge of treason, for undermining Russian national security.
So You Thought You Could Get Your Greedy Little Hands on Russian Oil?
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