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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gutseriyev Denies He Was Pushed

Billionaire Mikhail Gutseriyev on Wednesday disavowed earlier remarks that pressure from government agencies led him to sell Russneft, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing a statement to Russian news agencies.

His follow-up statement put the circumstances in which he sold Russneft to Oleg Deripaska in a new light, the newspaper said. Gutseriyev said the decision to sell was made by shareholders, without any pressure, and the undisclosed price was in line with market values, the Journal reported.

Prosecutors have accused him of tax evasion and rule violations.

An unidentified Russneft spokesman would not comment on the new statement, the paper said.

Gutseriyev formed Russneft in 2002, after leaving state-run oil firm Slavneft and subsequently buying its assets on the cheap.

(Bloomberg, MT)