MOSCOW (AFX) – A senior official from the troubled Russian oil giant Yukos has said the Russian government had decided to increase taxes on profits throughout the Russian oil industry.

“Someone in the government has decided that this industry has been generating unnecessary profits,” and that those profits therefore had to be re-distributed, Yukos finance director Brian Misamore said.

“However, if the levies rise, that means we will invest less,” he said at a press conference here.

He said although relations between Yukos and the Russian government had certainly deteriorated over the past months, the Kremlin had now decided to skim off more in taxes from the industry as a whole.

Yukos has been under government pressure since June, when the prosecutor’s office launched a series of investigations against Russia’s largest oil producer and its major shareholders.

The case culminated on Oct 25 with the arrest at gunpoint of the Yukos founder and Russia’s richest man, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was charged with massive fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement.