Russian Court Tells Yukos to Pay $1.4B Fine

The Moscow Arbitration Court ruled Monday that the embattled oil giant Yukos (search) must pay some $1.4 billion in fines and penalties as part of a $4.1 billion back-tax claim for 2001, the Interfax news agency reported.

The decision came after the deputy chairman of the court threw out a request by Yukos lawyers seeking the appointment of a new judge in the case, part of a broad-based legal campaign against the company and its former CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky (search).

Yukos is struggling to pay a $3.4 billion tax bill for 2000 by the end of October.

The 2001 bill, however — of which the core amount of $2.2 billion was already payable before Monday's ruling — has raised the company's total liabilities to some $7.5 billion.

Analysts expect more claims to follow, eventually pushing the final bill to well beyond $10 billion for 2000-2003.