Khristenko Confirms Lawsuit
Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko
has confirmed that he was served with a lawsuit against the Russian
government and state-owned energy giants by U.S.-based shareholders
of Yukos while on an official visit to the United States.
Speaking on Rossia television late Tuesday, a
week after his trip to Washington, Khristenko described the incident
"During a reception attended by some 300
representatives of Russian and U.S. business, a passerby stuck
a folder with something in it under my arm. ... In the morning,
it turned out that I had been summoned to court," he said.
Representatives of the plaintiffs have said that
Khristenko was served the summons on Oct. 24, immediately after
meeting U.S. President George W. Bush, and on the same day the
claim was filed with a U.S. district court in Washington.
At the time of the visit Khristenko said through
his aide that he knew nothing about the claim.
The lawsuit states that the 12 plaintiffs --
including former U.S. National Security Adviser Richard Allen
-- collectively lost $3 million due to the drop in market value
of the 115,000 American Depositary Receipts in Yukos they had
purchased over a three-year period.
Khristenko, who is being sued as a minister and
as a Gazprom board member, has until Nov. 14 to respond to the
allegations. Other defendants include Gazprom chairman and presidential
chief of staff Dmitry Medvedev, Rosneft chairman and deputy presidential
administration head Igor Sechin, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin,
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Rosneft president Sergei Bogdanchikov.