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Russian watchdog files $2 billion lawsuit against Nornickel over fuel spill damages

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Russia's miner Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) is seen on a board at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017 (SPIEF 2017) in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's environmental watchdog said on Thursday that it had filed a lawsuit against a power unit of mining giant Norilsk Nickel GMKN.MM to claim 148 billion roubles ($1.96 billion) in environmental damage caused by a fuel leak earlier this year.

The watchdog had previously asked Nornickel to pay this sum voluntarily.

Nornickel did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment.

($1 = 75.5790 roubles)

Reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova and Polina Devitt; writing by Polina Devitt; editing by Tom Balmforth