High-Priced Friends in Need

Russian oil company OAO Yukos has seen hard times since the arrest on tax evasion and fraud charges of its former chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The company "is trading at a fraction of its value at the time of Mr. Khodorkovsky's arrest," and owes $3.4 billion in back taxes, according to the Russian government. "Company executives say Yukos could be driven out of business," writes the Wall Street Journal. The Hill reports that Yukos hired BKSH & Associates, the lobbying arm of PR giant Burson-Marsteller, to keep "U.S. policymakers and administration officials informed about current issues" it faces "in Russia and abroad." Khodorkovsky, one of Russia's most famous "oligarchs," will stand trial on June 16.