I Russland gjelder loven, helt til det gjelder noe viktig. Da trer andre lover i kraft. Det er interessant å se at kommentatorer fullt ut deler bekymringen for russisk næringsliv basert på behandlingen av Yukos.

Da myndighetene arresterte Khodorkovsky ifjor høst forsøkte vestlige forståsegpåere med at de fundamentale forholdene var gode. Dette var et engangstilfelle. Det er det ingen som sier lenger, skriver Economist-kommentatoren Buttonwood.

None of this news has been good. The other 2_kommentar shareholders in Group Menatep, the 2_kommentar owner of Yukos, have fled the country, and Yukos’s takeover of Sibneft, another big oil company, has fallen apart. In mid-April, Yukos was finally charged with evading $3.4 billion of taxes in 2000, and a court granted tax authorities an injunction preventing the company from selling assets. As a result, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Yukos to CCC. That very rating was once described, appropriately enough, as like playing Russian roulette with all the chambers full. Yukos is, in other words, almost certain to default and be taken over.

This probable collapse should worry investors in all Russian companies, because it speaks volumes about the rule of law and property rights, or rather the lack of them. «There have to be very ugly things happening in Russia to make it possible to bankrupt an oil company when oil is at $40 a barrel,» says Kaha Kiknavelidze, an analyst at Troika Dialog, a stockbroker.

The march on Moscow

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