Romanian president says Lukoil refinery should be nationalised if it closes down

Romanian president Traian Basescu has called on the Romanian government to look into the option of nationalising a refinery run by Russian crude producer Lukoil if the company decides to close operations amid an investigation into an alleged 230 million euro tax evasion and money laundering affair.

Lukoil had warned it would close down the facility if the Romanian state does not lift a distraint placed on some of its assets. Some of its assets were frozen days after prosecutors in Ploiesti, a city about 70km north of Bucharest, where the refinery is located, said they suspect damages to state budget amounting to about 230 million euro, of which 112 million euro are thought to result from tax evasion and the rest from money laundering.

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