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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Slovaks Ask For Help on Yukos Stake

ReutersPutin welcoming Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico to talks on Friday.
Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico on Friday asked senior Russian officials for help in resolving the fate of Yukos' 49 percent stake in Slovakian pipeline operator Transpetrol.

The sale of the stake to Transpetrol is the subject of legal wrangling among Yukos creditors, including those linked to the Russian state and to Yukos' former majority shareholder, GML.

"We have asked Russia for comprehensive support to the elimination of all barriers in the transfer of Yukos property and shares to Transpetrol," Fico said after holding meetings with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Itar-Tass reported.

Fico said they had also discussed increasing deliveries of Russian oil and gas to Slovakia, Prime-Tass reported.

Russian officials on Friday offered to modernize Slovakia's nuclear power plants, as the two countries vowed to expand their cooperation in the energy sector.

"I agree that energy is the area where our cooperation will be most intensive in the future," Fico said in televised comments during a meeting with Putin.

Slovakia's natural gas supplies from Russia fell 30 percent during a gas price dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January 2006, when Gazprom temporarily switched off supplies to Ukraine, which lies between Russia and Slovakia.

But Fico expressed support for Russia's record as a reliable energy supplier.

"We believe that Russia is a reliable, promising partner in energy supplies, and I am sure that the Slovakian gas company in 2009 can sign a good, new gas contract," he said.

"I know that companies are considering increasing their cooperation" in oil and gas, Putin said. "The same goes for nuclear energy -- we don't just supply nuclear fuel -- we are ready to take part in modernizing nuclear energy facilities."

Putin has called for increasing the proportion of nuclear-generated power from one-sixth to at least one-quarter by 2030, and Russia is actively seeking opportunities for its nuclear energy industry companies overseas.