Russia's Rosneft Sues RBC Newspaper for $49M in Libel Case

A man walks towards the RBC media group office building in Moscow.

The state-owned Russian oil giant Rosneft is suing the RBC news outlet for more than 3.1 billion rubles ($49.2 million) in libel damages, the Rambler news service reported Thursday.

The company claims that its reputation was damaged by an article published by RBC in April 2016. The piece alleged that Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin had asked the Russian government to stop British oil BP from getting a larger stake in the company.

The case stands against journalists Timothy Dzyadko, Lyudmila Podobedova, and Maxim Tovkaylo, as members of RBC's “BusinessPress” company, and RBC TV head Konstantin Bochkarev.

Former chief editor Yelizaveta Osetinskaya told the Financial Times newspaper that RBC's work on the Panama Papers scandal, in addition to investigative work on Vladimir Putin's family and the Russian Orthodox Church's budget, had been like waving “red” at the Kremlin. Osetinskaya and many top editors at RBC were fired earlier this year.

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