Articles by Catherine Belton



Yukos Creator Found Dead in London Flat

A founding father of the one-time Yukos oil empire, Yury Golubev, has been found dead in his London apartment, former and current Yukos shareholders said Wednesday.

A Lethal Web of Spooks, Oligarchs and Spin

When former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko agreed to give two little-known British academics an interview this year, they couldn't quite believe their luck.

Abramovich Tenders His Resignation

  • 21 December 06
  • Staff Writers
Billionaire mogul Roman Abramovich on Wednesday asked President Vladimir Putin for permission to resign as governor of the polar Chukotka region.

The Agent Who Was Left Out in the Cold

When prosecutors went to search Boris Berezovsky's Moscow mansion in 1995 to investigate the murder of an executive at state-controlled ORT television, a determined armed guard barred the door.

4 Airplanes Checked for Radiation

  • 01 December 06
  • Staff Writers
Public health concerns follow the Nov. 23 death of Alexander Litvinenko.

British Police Follow Litvinenko Trail

Anti-terrorist police combed London over the weekend for traces of the radioactive substance that killed Alexander Litvinenko as conspiracy theories swirled over the dramatic poisoning that threatens to shatter Russia's standing in the West.

Litvinenko Moved to Intensive Care

  • 21 November 06
  • Staff Writers
He met with a KGB expert and Andrei Lugovoi the day he fell ill, a friend says.

U.S. Gives Green Light to WTO Bid

The United States and Russia announced Friday that they had agreed in principle on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization, a breakthrough that appears to end 13 years of politically charged and sometimes bitter wrangling.

TNK-BP License Under Attack

Prosecutors, acting on a United Russia deputy's request, say the company's Rospan unit should lose its license in west Siberia.

Rosneft Lining Up $24.5Bln in Loans

  • 03 November 06
  • Staff Writers
The financing would be the biggest ever to a Russian company and put Rosneft in pole position to swallow the remains of Yukos.

Sale of OGK-5 Stake Likely a 3-Way Split

Gazprombank, an unidentified strategic investor and portfolio investors have placed bids for shares in power generation company OGK-5, making the issue four times oversubscribed, a person familiar with the deal said Monday as the book closed for bids in the first of a series of Unified Energy Systems asset sales.

Gazprom's Power Bid Gets Mixed Reviews

A bid this week for a stake in UES subsidiary OGK-5 could be the prelude to Gazprom spreading its influence across the sector.

Visa Ban Hits UBS Analyst

Kakha Kikhnavelidze, senior oil and gas analyst at UBS in Moscow, is among the first wave of Georgian nationals to fall victim to Russia's blanket ban on visa issuance to Georgians as the standoff between the two former Soviet states continues.

Kiev Says Gas Deal Not Yet Set in Stone

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's deputy chief of staff cast doubt on the country's new gas deal with Russia on Wednesday, a day after the two countries' prime ministers announced an agreement to raise the gas price by 40 percent next year.

The Arrest That Proved a Turning Point

Former business partners of Mikhail Khodorkovsky will remember the day of his arrest three years ago Wednesday as a turning point toward state control.

Probe Into Leak of Secrets to TNK-BP

Several government officials are being investigated on suspicion of handing over classified documents to TNK-BP, prosecutors said Friday.

Itera Past Haunts U.S. Lawmaker

U.S. Representative Curt Weldon's ties to Russian gas firm Itera are coming back to haunt him. Two years after it surfaced that the veteran congressman had possibly helped his daughter, Karen Weldon, win a lobbying contract with the firm, FBI agents raided her office and Itera's on Monday.

President Supports Shift on Shtokman

President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday threw his backing behind Gazprom's sudden decision to go it alone in developing the vast Shtokman gas field, saying foreign oil majors could still participate -- as long as Gazprom was the sole owner.

Putin Promises Politkovskaya Investigation

  • 10 October 06
  • Staff Writers
President Vladimir Putin vowed Monday to track down the killers of Anna Politkovskaya, while her colleagues at Novaya Gazeta pledged to continue her work despite dangers.

Fearful Georgians Shut Down Stalls and Eateries

  • 09 October 06
  • Staff Writers
One market is closed and an uneasy mood pervades the others as traders from former Soviet republics worry they might be next.

Police Seek Lists of Georgian Schoolchildren

  • 09 October 06
  • Staff Writers
Moscow police are asking schools to turn over lists of children with Georgian-sounding last names, raising fears that a state campaign against Georgians is spinning out of control.

Dudley Dismisses Talk of Sale

The head of TNK-BP says he is confident about the firm's future and is unaware of any moves by Russian shareholders to sell out.

Work Starts on First Business School

The nation's answer to Harvard Business School is being backed by Vardanyan, Abramovich and Putin.

Theede: Prosecutors Trying to Block Sale

Former Yukos president Steven Theede on Thursday decried a Russian criminal investigation against him and three other foreign executives as ""pressure and intimidation"" aimed at disrupting the $1.5 billion sale of Yukos' stake in the Mazeikiu refinery in Lithuania.

Case Opened Against Ex-Yukos Chief

Prosecutors opened a criminal case Thursday against former Yukos president Steven Theede and GML director Tim Osborne, accusing them of conspiring to steal Yukos' foreign assets.

Pichugin Gets 24 Years in Murders

The Moscow City Court convicted Yukos' former security chief Alexei Pichugin on Thursday of organizing two murders and two attempted murders and sentenced him to 24 years in a prison camp.

Pichugin Faces Life Sentence in Killings

The Moscow City Court is due to hear the verdict Thursday in the politically charged trial of former Yukos security chief Alexei Pichugin, who stands accused of a series of contract killings, including the 1998 murder of Nefteyugansk mayor Vladimir Petukhov.

Mazeikiu Pipeline's Future in Doubt

Russia could be forced to close down the pipeline that feeds the Mazeikiu refinery in Lithuania because it is more than 40 years old and constructed with banned metals, said Semyon Vainshtok, the president of pipeline monopoly Transneft.

Yukos Turns Down Gazprom Offer

Gazprom bids for Yukos assets while Khodorkovsky worries about his next meal.

Creditors Vote to Liquidate Yukos

Yukos' creditors voted overwhelmingly to liquidate the nation's one-time biggest oil producer on Tuesday, opening the way for state energy flagships to gobble up its remains and ending its long battle for survival.