Russian court claims tax of US$80 million against Japan Tobacco Inc.

A Russian court has confirmed the validity of the US$80 million (Ђ66 million) tax claim brought against Japan Tobacco Inc., the Vedomosti Daily reported Monday.

The court rejected Japan Tobacco's appeal against charges made in July 2004 by the Moscow Tax Service, which accused the company of underpaying value-added tax and profit taxes.

Japan Tobacco's head of public relations in Russia, Anatoly Vereshchagin, told the paper his company planned to take its case to the Higher Arbitration Court.

"JT International's principled position is strict adherence to the law in whichever country we are present," he was quoted as saying.

Japan Tobacco is Russia's fourth largest cigarette producer. Its brands in Russia include Camel, Winston, Salem and Peter I.

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