Gas prices in Russia may increase on average by 25 percent in 2002, said Alexei Miller, chairman of the board of the Gazprom company, on Wednesday. Mr. Miller added that inflation fluctuations are not incorporated in this figure. In his words, Gazprom has prepared a programme to gradually raise gas prices. Mr. Miller stressed that the current gas prices are unprofitable for Gazprom. In addition, he said that an investment programme Gazprom is implementing would incorporate an increase in gas prices. Mr. Miller also mentioned that higher gas prices were backed at the meeting led by Russian President Vladimir Putin in Novy Urengoi in the north of Western Siberia on Tuesday.
The groups of the Armed Forces of Russia blocked the town of Lisichansk from the south, an official representative for the Ministry of Defense, Lieutenant General Igor Konashenkov said