Economy Minister Confesses Inflation May Reach 15% In Russia Next Year

The Russian Ministry for Economic Development and Trade admitted there is the possibility that the inflation rate may reach 15 or 15.5 per cent in Russia in 2002. This information was reported the Minister for Economic Development and Trade, German Gref, at a briefing today. He noted that inflation may surge so high only in the event all monopolists introduce a maximum possible increase in their tariffs on January 1, 2002. According to a decision made by the government today, a maximum increase in tariffs in natural monopolies may amount to 35 per cent.