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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Volgotanker Takes Step to Bankruptcy

A court appointed a supervisory manager Wednesday for the country's biggest river shipper, Volgotanker, a first step in an impending bankruptcy and sale of the assets of the indebted firm.

The Moscow arbitration court upheld a 3.34 billion ruble ($131.1 million) claim by the Federal Tax Service against Volgotanker and named Alexander Volzhanin as supervisory manager.

The claim includes 2.13 billion rubles of tax debt and fines.

Volgotanker, Europe's largest oil products carrier by river, had to stop operations last year after its fleet of over 350 ships was seized due to the back tax claims of over $150 million for 2001 to 2005.

The Federal State Property Fund set an auction for May to sell Volgotanker's five ships to recover a part of the debt, but canceled the sale in July after postponing it twice without giving a reason for its decision.

Once part of the bankrupt Yukos oil empire, Volgotanker became management-owned after Yukos, also hit with back tax claims, was declared bankrupt.

Yukos' assets are now being sold by the property fund.