Deputy Finance Minister on Gas Sector Restructuring

By June 1, 2003 the Russian Economy Ministry and Gazprom will prepare calculations concerning different variants of the concept of restructuring the gas market, Deputy Economy Minister Andrey Sharonov declared at an international gas forum in Moscow today.

According to him, there are three variants of liberalizing gas prices. A radical variant stipulates an instant liberalization of gas prices, but gas price regulations are to remain in the housing sector. The second variant envisages a staged liberalization and, according to the third variant, gas prices are to be liberalized from one sector of the economy to another.

Sharonov admitted some progress in the elaboration on the concept but pointed out that there were some disagreements with Gazprom about the fate of the single system of gas distribution, questions concerning gas production and other issues. The deputy minister added that the sides agreed to discuss the possibility of transferring from the regulation of wholesale gas prices to the regulation of the single tariff for gas transportation.

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