Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin on Purneftegaz

MOSCOW -- President Boris Yeltsin intervened Wednesday to stop the controversial giveaway of shares in a government-controlled oil company and to punish those responsible for the transaction.

Yeltsin ordered Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov to take measures to return 51 percent of Purneftegaz, which had been taken from the state-owned oil company Rosneft, the president's office said in a statement.

Rosneft lost its stake in Purneftegaz earlier this year after it failed to pay off a loan and overdue fines of about 40 million rubles ($6.6 million) to Russian commercial bank Mapo. The bank held the Purneftegaz shares as collateral.

Purneftegaz was Rosneft's single largest oil-producing company, so the loss made Rosneft practically worthless.