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00:31 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Yukos oil firm formally ceases to exist

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The Yukos oil firm has formally ceased to exist following the completion of the company's liquidation process, the Yukos bankruptcy administrator said on Thursday in Moscow.
MOSCOW, November 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Yukos oil firm has formally ceased to exist following the completion of the company's liquidation process, the Yukos bankruptcy administrator said on Thursday in Moscow.

Yukos, once Russia's largest oil company, was declared bankrupt on August 1, 2006, after three years of litigation with tax authorities over tax arrears. Its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year prison sentence in Siberia for fraud and tax evasion.

The Moscow Arbitration Court completed on November 12 the Yukos liquidation process by request of the bankruptcy administrator, and the company was struck off the register of legal entities on November 21.

Yukos had paid off more than 710 billion rubles (about $28.4 billion) to its creditors from proceeds from liquidation auctions, and defaulted on claims worth 76 billion rubles (about $3 billion).

The liquidation of Yukos was widely seen as part of the Kremlin's drive to regain control over the country's oil and gas sector. Most of the company's main assets fell into the hands of Rosneft, making the state-run company Russia's largest oil producer.