Russian Government: RAO UES not to be privatized. Without “absolute necessity”

Andrei Illarionov suspected of black PR

Yesterday, the member of the RAO UES (United Energy Systems of Russia) administration, Andrei Trapeznikov denied some accusations against RAO, expressed the day before yesterday by the President advisor on economical questions, Andrei Illarionov. Moreover, Mr. Trapeznkov suspected that the President advisor’s speech was “non-random.” Though, the Russian Government seems to be more and more suspicious about the events in this energy monopoly. One way or another, the sensation about “the Chubais reforms” forced Alexei Kudrin to make a special statement.

The member of the RAO UES administration, Andrei Trapeznikov criticized the statement of Andrei Illarionov made the day before. According to Trapeznikov, the statement of the President’s advisor “misleads people and business circles.” Moreover, from the speech of Trapeznkov a conclusion could be made that the Illarionov does not possess authentic information about the situation in RAO UES.

It should be remembered that the RAO leaders many times blamed Andrei Illarionov that he has no understanding of the Russian energy issues and even promised to daily re-send to him analytical materials on the subject. So, they seem to have not kept their promise.

Andrei Trapeznkov said that the Illarionov statement about decreasing labour productivity in RAO UES is not right. Wise versa, the labour productivity has risen: from 899,000 kilowatt-hours in 1998 per head to 943,000 kilowatt-hours per head in 2001. The staff of RAO has reduced from 671,600 people (in 1998) to 664,800. Illarionov said that profits of RAO UES had risen. In 1999, according to International System of Financial Accounting, RAO had losses in sum of 14 billion rubles, while in 2001, profits mad 42 billion rubles. As accepted by reformers, Trapeznikov referred to foreign experts. According to him, the positive dynamics in the RAO UES development was noticed by Standard&Poo’s agency. S&P referred the company to B category (stable) according to international scale, and to ru A + category according to national scale.

As for drop in the stock prices of RAO, Andrei Trapeznkov could say nothing. Though, he reported that the monopoly was also concerned with this fact. While the fact itself is obviously connected with the negative dynamics in the world markets, with protracting by the State Duma consideration of the draft package on the energy reformation, and “different rumours and statements of speculative character.”

Andrei Trapeznikov certainly did not pronounce the phrase “black PR,” though he did not excluded that the statement of Illarionov was “non-random and connected with the coming consideration by the Duma of the energy reforms.” Though, Andrei Illarionov himself did not keep back that he had many questions as for the reform conception prepared in the heart of RAO UES and furthered by the government. Moreover, he often agreed with the Anatoly Chubais opponents from the working group of the State Council. So, there was almost nothing random in his statement.

In the meanwhile, the dispute around the RAO UES reformation seems to have bothered everybody, including the Russian Government. At least, today, at the “round table” devoted to consideration of the budget parameters, the vice-premier minister and financial minister Alexei Kudrin was forced to make a statement on the subject. According to him, the government does not plan to privatize Gazprom and RAO UES stock the government possesses and intends to keep controlling these monopolies. At least, for the period of its structurization.

“Next year, there will be no necessity to privatize these packages (for the budget needs), - Alexei Kudrin said. – Though, in case of absolute necessity, the state can sell them.” I wonder, what did he mean while saying “absolute necessity”?

Dmity Slobodyanyuk PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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