Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin could not have read Khodorkovsky's letter, where former YUKOS CEO announces his proposal on the settlement of claims by the Russian Tax Ministry, press secretary of the minister Gennady Ezhov reported. He is on vacation from July 5 to 7, the press secretary explained. He said that the minister had forwarded this letter to acting Tax Minister Anatoly Serdyukov without looking it through.
Earlier foreign mass media released the information on the proposal aimed at averting otherwise imminent bankruptcy. Khodorkovsky was reported to be ready to give a part or the whole of his stake to the firm, which would then either hand over the shares directly to the government or sell them and use the cash received to settle current and future tax claims. The Russian Tax Ministry claims YUKOS owes $3.4bn and $3.37bn in overdue taxes.
Instead, Khodorkovsky is seeking to gain some reimbursement for the value of his stake from YUKOS over the coming three to five years. As it was reported earlier, he sent the corresponding proposals to Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin. Fradkov's press secretary Alexander Zharov has claimed the head of the Cabinet had not received any letter from Khodorkovsky. No one state official has confirmed the information about the receipt of the letter.