Duma to receive bills on energy reforms next week

A set of bills on reforms of the Russian electrical energy sector will beintroduced to the State Duma next week, Deputy Economic Development andTrade Minister Andrey Sharonov reported to journalists today after aCabinet meeting devoted to these bills. He noted that Prime MinisterMikhail Kasyanov had made the corresponding order.Commenting on rates for services of natural monopolies, the official notedthat the government had considered the issue on maximum rates in summer andwas specifying these rates and coordinating them with expenditures made bynatural monopolies now. He stated that natural monopolies had presentedincomplete information earlier but improved the elaboration on theirbudgets and investment programs as compared to several previous years.Finally, the Deputy Economy Minister announced, referring to the PrimeMinister, that the latter, together with the Russian President, wouldsupport reforms in every way. Reforms can be slowed down only for the sakeof their quality, Sharonov stressed. "This will not mean hampering reformsof natural monopolies," he concluded..

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