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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Surgut Refuses to Sell Land

The Surgut city government has refused to sell Surgutneftegaz the land under six of its enterprises -- even though the oil giant offered the highest price specified in the Land Code, Vedomosti reported.

The company had applied to buy 297 hectares that it rents from the western Siberian city and another 167 hectares that it has the rights to use, the newspaper reported last week.

Vladislav Nestorov, deputy head of Surgut's administration, said the city can not sell the land until the federal government releases a so-called coefficient, which would raise or lower the cost of the land in relation to the use of the land.

However, lawyers interviewed by Vedomosti dispute this, saying all the provisions necessary to buy land under the enterprises are included in the Land Code and the oil firm would have a good chance of forcing the city administration to sell the land if it were to take the city to court.

Many regional administrations are reluctant to sell their land, and a similar case has been brought to the courts in Moscow by auto parts firm Mostranskomplekt.

Vedomosti said Surgut is fighting Surgutneftegaz's acquisition because the city earns more from renting than it would by selling.