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Russia's anti-monopoly minister Ilya Yuzhanov this week gave a strong indication that he is preparing to approve the proposed merger between Yukos and Sibneft. Yuzhanov said there is no "major obstacle" to approval and that a decision will be made by 15 August.
Only a week ago the ministry had been dragging its heels on a decision, saying that it needed "some time" and more information about Yukos' activities and operations before it could reach a decision (FSUE, 8August, p3).
The ministry's decision on the Yukos-Sibneft merger should be an important indicator of the Kremlin's intentions with respect to Yukos.
The oil company has been under …