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Flagship companies to pay $US 60 BLN in taxes?

The Russian government may receive an additional $US 60 BLN from the country's largest companies. A draft law sent to the Duma calls for a one-time tax to compensate the state for profits lost in the privatisation in the early 1990s.

If passed, the legislation would force privately-owned giants in the metals, chemicals, mining and power sector to pay 20% of the money they made in the first 10 years of operation.

Legal experts argue slapping Russian businesses with back taxes is illegal.

“You can’t freely tax something that happened a long time ago,” said Valery Tutykhin, Credit Prive law firm partner.

While few believe the current proposal has a chance to become a law, some see it as a sign of increased state pressure on private industry.