The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, head of Russia’s second largest oil company, Yukos, has renewed debate over Russian president Vladimir Putin’s use of power. Many fear that politics motivated the arrest of Khodorkovsky, who was jailed on charges of fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement on Oct. 25. Arizona Senator John McCain complained of Russia's slide towards "neo-imperialism abroad and authoritarian control at home," suggesting that the Khodorkovsky case was but one of a number of serious abuses. Last Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov criticized US comments regarding the Yukos case, suggesting that the United States was meddling in internal Russian affairs. U.S. State Department spokesman Adam Ereli stated: "Our position is: let's see how the situation unfolds. We've made clear how we view the situation, that it's an important case, that the markets and investors are watching it carefully, as are we, and let's let the process take its course." Under Mr. Khodorkovsky’s leadership, Yukos pumped an average of 1.4 million barrels a day (bpd), nearly 18 percent of the 5 million bpd that Russia exports. Mr. Khodorkovsky was a popular figure in many Washington circles, and donated generous sums of money to several prominent thinktanks and causes. Simon Kukes, formerly president and chief executive officer of the Tyumen Oil Company, has recently been installed as the head of Yukos.
This month CIAO examines the state of the Russian oil industry
From CIAO's database:
Axis of Oil?
Book Reviews: A Special Deal for Russia: The EU and Russia: The Promise of Partnership
Russia's Role in the Shifting World Oil Market (PDF)
Putin's Russia: A Confusing Notion of Corruption (PDF)
Towards an Improved Governance Agenda for the Extractive Sector
Russian Ministry of Energy (Minenergo RF)
U.S. Department of Energy
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