Duma Speaker comments on Slavneft privatization

The state sold its stake in the Slavneft Oil and Gas Company too cheap, Russian State Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov stated at today's Internet press conference held by RBC. According to him, the company has earned $500m for the country's consolidated budget in 2001, and about $800m in 2002. It was actually sold at a price, which was twice as high as the sum it brought to the budget over the past two years.

Seleznyov pointed out that the Russian government had previously stated selling only those companies, which worked inefficiently and where the change of an owner could lead to efficient management. However, the mentioned figures testify to the fact that Slavneft's financial and economic activities were "wonderful", Seleznyov stressed. "The state sold it too cheap ignoring the opinion of the Audit Chamber; the auction was conducted in haste. This is the most ridiculous political and economic performance", the State Duma Speaker stated.

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