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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ex-Im Bank Vote Due

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Export-Import Bank will vote this Friday on a controversial $500 million loan package for Russia's oil sector, an Ex-Im Bank spokesman said Tuesday.

The administration of U.S. President Bill Clinton has been pressured to block the loans to protest Russia's bombing campaign in Chechnya while Congress has also opposed the loans after some wary U.S. investors have accused Tyumen Oil Co., headed by Simon Kukes, of illegal tactics in its attempt to take over a smaller company.

British-American oil major, BP Amoco, has lobbied against the loans after losing a fight with Tyumen to gain control of Russian oil company Chernogorneft, a subsidiary of bankrupt Sidanko. BP Amoco has a 10 percent interest in Sidanko.

Ex-Im staff have not revised their earlier recommendation that the loans be approved, the spokesman said.

The Ex-Im Bank is an independent agency that is supposed to make loan decisions based on sound economic reasoning and not politics.

However, under U.S. law Clinton has the authority to block the loans if he believes Russia is violating human rights.