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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

First Auction of Volgotanker Assets Is Postponed

The Federal Property Fund has postponed until June 19 the first auction to sell off assets of the country's biggest river shipper, Volgotanker, to recover its back taxes, the fund said Monday.

Volgotanker's five oil tankers were to be sold May 29 to start the breakup of Europe's largest oil products river carrier, which used to be a part of the empire of bankrupt oil firm Yukos, also sold off to recover tax debts.

"An auction to sell the arrested assets of the Volgotanker company was postponed from May 29 to June 19 due to the order of a Rostov region marshal," said Alexander Komarov, spokesman for the property fund.

Volgotanker was not immediately available for comment.

The property fund has set the total starting price for the five tankers, which are to be sold in five separate lots, at 85.6 million rubles ($3.31 million).

The firm's total fleet under arrest includes more than 350 ships with about 200 oil carriers with maximum tanker deadweight of 10,000 tons.

Volgotanker, which is now management-owned, had to stop operations last year due to a back tax claim of about 3.9 billion rubles ($150.6 million) for 2001 to 2005.

The firm has in the past handled large volumes of nonpipeline oil and products exports, plying routes between refineries in central Russia and northern export ports such as St. Petersburg or Kavkaz on the Black Sea.

The tax dispute has significantly reduced fuel oil export shipments via St. Petersburg.

Yukos' assets have also been sold by the property fund to recover its debts of more than $26 billion.