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LONDON -- Russian oil group Yukos has filed for bankruptcy in the United States and appealed for a temporary injunction preventing the forced sale of its main production unit, according to The Guardian.
Yukos said it wanted the U.S. bankruptcy court for the southern district of Texas to force the Russian state to arbitrate the company's claims for billions of dollars in damages. The claims arise from what Yukos has described as "an unprecedented campaign of illegal, discriminatory and disproportionate" tax demands.
A statement from the company said the planned auction of Yuganskneftegaz, its main production subsidiary, would "cause the company to suffer immediate and irreparable harm."
On Sunday, Russian tax officials are due to auction off Yuganskneftegaz to bring in some of the £14bn (U.S. $18.75 billion) it says Yukos owes. Yukos said it had filed for protection from its creditors, and requested an emergency hearing at the bankruptcy court, in Houston.
The firm said U.S. bankruptcy law had international jurisdiction in its case because it has major business dealings in Texas and its CFO, Bruce Misamore, is based there. "Yukos is asking the court for a temporary restraining order halting the planned Sunday auction of Yuganskneftegaz by Russian authorities," the company's statement said.