The Russian government believes that the first stage of liberalization of the gas market should be the creation of a domestic gas market, a high-ranking source in the Russian government told RosBusinessConsulting. According to him, at the first stage gas producing companies should be given the possibility to sell gas to anybody they want and at a price they find suitable.
The source pointed out that besides Gazprom, many other companies are producing gas already and, if they are able to sell it on the domestic market, Gazprom will have additional resources for gas exports. At the same time, RBC's interlocutor thinks other companies should not be given the possibility to export gas. He also mentioned the question of liberalizing the gas market as one of the reasons for delaying the discussion of the country's energy strategy by the government. The Cabinet of Ministers is expected to consider this issue in February 2003.