Yukos handed lifeline


Court marshals have given Russian oil giant Yukos a month to pay off its $3.4 billion tax bill, raising faint hopes that the company may stave off bankruptcy, as former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien emerged as a surprise mediator in the affair.

But assets that Yukos could sell to raise the money are frozen under a court order and it is unclear how the company could pay the sum. After the tax demand was upheld in court in July, Yukos warned that it would run out of cash to fund operations

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