#13 - JRL 7252
Russia: Yukos oil boss says easy to guess who is behind moves against business
Source: NTV Mir, Moscow, in Russian 1100 gmt 16 Jul 03
[Presenter] The recent events linked to the Yukos oil firm and the situation around the company will lead to the flight of capital from Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovskiy said today.
The head of Yukos returned from the USA today, having attended a meeting of the world's business elite. Immediately on his return, Mikhail Khodorkovskiy came to see journalists and commented on the situation around Yukos.
[Khodorkovskiy] There will be a substantial flight of capital from the country as a result of all the events that have taken place. Naturally, no matter how much we try to persuade people that this is a temporary situation, many business decisions, Western investment business decisions will, nevertheless, be postponed.
Nonetheless, as it were, I think that so far the situation can be turned around. It is our task to do what we can and as much as we can to ensure that the investment climate in the country is not altogether ruined.
Naturally, definite and quite substantial damage has already been done. I think that the country will have been harmed to the tune of billions and perhaps even tens of billions of dollars and we will see this at the end of the year.
[Presenter] A Western TV journalist asked the head of Yukos about the underlying causes of the pressure which is being put on the company and who is behind these events and here is what Khodorkovskiy had to say in reply.
[Khodorkovskiy] I think that the causes are exclusively political in nature. As for the identity of the forces that are behind this, I think you can guess that without me. Thank you very much, that is all for now, gentlemen.