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Rothchild get Yukos Russian Oil shares

WashTimes – November 03, 2003 LONDON (Agence France-Presse) Control of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s shares in the Russian oil giant Yukos have passed to renowned banker Jacob Rothschild, under a deal they concluded prior to Mr. Khodorkovsky’s arrest, the Sunday Times reported. Voting rights to the shares passed to Mr. Rothschild, 67, under a “previously unknown arrangement” designed to take effect in the event that Mr. Khodorkovsky could no longer “act as a beneficiary” of the shares, it said. Mr. Khodorkovsky, 40, whom Russian authorities arrested at gunpoint and jailed pending further investigation last week, was said by the Sunday Times to have made the arrangement with Mr. Rothschild when he realized he was facing arrest. Mr. Rothschild now controls the voting rights on a stake in Yukos worth almost $13.5 billion, the newspaper said in a dispatch from Moscow. Mr. Khodorkovsky owns 4 percent of Yukos directly and 22 percent through a trust of which he is the sole beneficiary, according to Russian analysts. From the figures reported in the Sunday Times, it appeared Mr. Rothschild had received control of all Mr. Khodorkovsky’s shares. The two have known each other for years “through their mutual love of the arts” and their positions as directors of the Open Russia Foundation, Yukos’ philanthropic branch, it said. ———————————— The Battle for Russia’s Fossil Fuels Continues By Charles Fama -10-11-03 While Putin’s arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the attempted appropriation of his shares of YukosSibneft may look to many as a last ditch effort by the Kremlin to stop American control of Russia’s oil resources, it’s is only the tip of the iceberg. The notion made by many that the arrest and prosecution of Yukos top managers is simply a pre-election stunt to gain popularity among the electorate and distance Russian businessmen from the political process is in my opinion completely laughable. A deeper look into Russia’s and America’s roles in the natural gas market is needed to adequately understand the current Yukos situation. Lets take a look back to September of 2003 and the Russian-American energy summit in St.Petersburg. Large-scale supplies of Russian gas to the American market were the main hope during the recent summit. There is no doubt that no large-scale supplies of Russian oil are to be made to the USA. The state-run monopolies have managed to preserve the national status of Russia’s oil pipelines which means that export opportunities of oil oligarchs are now dependant upon their competitors from state-run companies. It means that American or British trans-national companies will get their profits from selling the Russian oil immediately in Russia. This fact explains the merger of Russia’s TNK with British Petroleum and the sale of the blocking interest of the recently merged company YukosSibneft. But the situation is quite different concerning Russian gas. In America supply and demand for natural gas are delicately balanced. However, natural gas prices are significantly higher than this time last year; some prices have doubled for gas purchased by the companies that supply it to consumers. Storage levels are at near record lows while demand for natural gas is growing. In the short term, increases in demand due to weather (hot summer and/or cold winter) could stress the supply/demand balance. Also, hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico could disrupt offshore natural gas production and reduce supply. 80 percent of new electric generating capacity is natural gas fired. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration forecasts that natural gas demand will grow by more than 50 percent by 2025. The new domestic fields being found are smaller and have shorter lives. In contrast to the American natural gas situation Russia is the greatest natural gas producer and exporter in the world. American agreements with Russia on natural gas have to this point failed because signing of contracts by state-run companies and other companies close to them would have caused a severe blow against the confronting group headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Boris Berezovsky. They are now the leaders inciting the anti-Putin campaign in the USA. According to some sources, Boris Berezovsky spent a million of dollars on purchase of advertising in US’s newspapers and magazines to publish his anti-Putin letter addressed to President Bush. Signing of contracts with Gazprom, Rosneft and other companies would mean that the American elite supports the pro-Putin group and betrays its old allies such as Khodorkovsky. During the Russian-American energy summit the USA was also warned that the last resort may be used: it was said that the natural resources may be nationalized and all extracting companies will thus become sub-contractors of the government. The appropriation of Khodorkovsky’s shares in Yukos by the Kremlin would have crushed any leverage the United States has in dealing with Russia in concerns to natural gas. It was first reported by the Washington times that Khodorkovsky passed his shares of Yukos to Jacob Rothschild prior to his arrest. This may have been prompted by a visit to Russia from Bush Sr. in September. While no direct statement was made as to the nature of his visit it was speculated that he was on business for the Carlyle Group. Both Bush Sr. and Khodorkovsky are both advisors for the pentagon-connected Carlyle Group. Lord Rothschild sits on the Board of Trustee’s of the Open Russia Foundation, a charitable organization formed by Yukos in 2001. Khodorkovsky and none other than Henry Kissinger are fellow board members. Simon Kukes, a Russian born American national was then named to replace Khodorkovsky as head of Yukos. It should also be mentioned that Russia lost out dearly in Iraq due to America’s liberation of the country. Prior to the war Russia held the rights to sell 40 percent of Iraq’s oil. Since the end of the war new contracts have been written to sell Iraq’s oil with British Petroleum, Royal Dutch/Shell Group, ChevronTexaco, Petrobras of Brazil, China’s Sinochem International, and France’s TotalFinaElf. The attempted nationalization of Yukos by Putin has thus far failed. It sits even more snuggly in the arms of corporate America than ever before. The outcome of the battle for Russia’s natural gas companies is yet to be seen. http://new.globalfreepress.com/article.pl?sid=03/11/10/172222&mode=thread

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