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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Son of Rosneft Vice President Kidnapped

The son of a senior Rosneft executive was kidnapped two months ago, Novaya Gazeta reported Monday, citing security sources who said kidnappers have demanded a 50,000 euro ($71,100) ransom.

Rosneft declined to comment on the report that Mikhail Stavsky, the 17-year-old son of Rosneft's vice president, also named Mikhail Stavsky, was kidnapped at the doors of the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas in southwestern Moscow on April 13.

"[The kidnappers] stuffed him in a car and fled in an unknown direction. ... All information is being kept secret. Even Rosneft's board members and managers don't know about the grief that has befallen the Stavsky family," a source told the newspaper.

Further details were not immediately available.

Stavsky has worked at Rosneft since 2005, when he joined from Sibneft, billionaire Roman Abramovich's former oil asset.

If the kidnapping is confirmed, it would be the most high-profile case in recent years since the abduction of LUKoil chief financial officer Sergei Kukura in 2002.

Kukura was released several days later, but the company and security services have released very little information about the abductors or their motives.

That sparked a wave of speculation ranging from abduction by Chechen separatists to theories that the kidnapping was a warning to the fast-growing private firm to cool its ambitions.

Authorities say the number of serious crimes in Russia has steadily declined since the violent 1990s, when disputes between financial and industrial groups were often settled with automatic weapons and grenades and frequently in broad daylight.

But Western investors still cite security concerns alongside red tape and corruption as key obstacles to opening and expanding business in Russia.