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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

05/14/1997

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Izvestia Claims Control With Alliance

The battle for control of the influential Izvestia daily took a new twist Tuesday when the newspaper's editors and the Uneximbank group announced that their newly forged alliance controls more than 50 percent of the company's shares, displacing corporate master LUKOIL. The oil company, which only last week announced that it controlled a majority stake, disputed the Izvestia-Uneximbank contention, leaving the official status of the paper's ownership unclear. Izvestia editors, who turned to the powerful banking group as a ""white knight"" after relations with LUKOIL soured, said they had succeeded in repelling pressure from the oil major, although they conceded that relations between the editorial staff and the bank have yet to be fully worked out. ""The controlling share is not in LUKOIL's hands but on the side of the editorial team,"" said a front-page editorial in Izvestia's Wednesday edition, stressing that Uneximbank had guaranteed journalists their independence.

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