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Russia, Ukraine clash over oil refinery

The Russian government has spoken out over a dispute at Ukrtatnafta, a refinery in the Ukrainian town of Kremenchuk.

The Ukrainian oil firm Naftogaz and the government of Russia's Tatarstan region hold the largest stakes in the refinery.

But when an 18% share in the refinery was sold to companies with links to the Tatar oil company, Tatneft, Naftogaz appealed, taking over the stake in May.

Tatar shareholders later defeated attempts to install a Ukrainian-led management team.

On  October 19th, an armed group, led by a former CEO of the refinery, took control of the facility, backed by a Ukrainian court order.

Tatneft, which provided most of the refinery's oil, has stopped supplying it.

And Russian politicians have taken up the issue.

“I consider the incident to be an outrageous fact and we cannot ignore it. Protecting Russian business interests abroad is a national priority. Obviously, this incident harms the relations between Russian investors and their Ukrainian counterparts,” stated Sergey Ivanov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation.