11 State Duma deputies, representing Russia’s far-eastern regions, met yesterday with Vice Premier Viktor Khristenko to discuss a fuel crisis in Russia’ Far East. Anatoli Chubais, the national power grid chief, also took part in the meeting. One of the meeting participants, Vice Admiral Valeri Dorogin, representing the Kamchatka peninsula, has shared his impressions with Pravda.ru. In particular, he has told the following. “I did not like the way the government officials tried to react to our reports in which we described the dire strait our regions have found themselves in. Their answers sounded like “there are no funds,” “the funds are improperly spent,” “utility bills fail to cover the costs,” etc. I do not think my electorate will be satisfied if I cite them those arguments. People are hardly interested to learn who and why has not transferred them funds on time. I am convinced that the federal authorities have to tell people clearly when the above problem will be solved and what has been done for this problem to be solved as soon as possible. I cannot understand the phrase: “There are no funds for fuel.” If there is a budged, there should be enough funds. I am also convinced that there should be a ministry set up to oversee specifically the fuel supply to the regions. The proposed ministry, for example, could define the regions’ requirements to be matched with the capabilities. Besides, it would be better if the governor would receive not the money, but fuel proper, putting its consumption under his control. Unfortunately, the current system of allocating funds for regional fuel supply often results in the moneys getting stuck in banks and, finally, disappearing, Inna Novikova reports.
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