The Russian state froze a controlling stake in oil giant YUKOS on Thursday in a dramatic escalation of a confrontation between the Kremlin and big
business. Within an hour of the move by judicial authorities, President Vladimir Putin was reported by Russian news agencies to be in a meeting with
foreign investors at the Kremlin. There was no immediate comment from Putin on the day's events. YUKOS has been the target since early July of legal
action by the Russian justice authorities
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