Economy Ministry and Gazprom to negotiate liberalization of gas market

The Russian Economy Ministry intends to hold consultations with Gazprom on a concept of the Russian gas market's liberalization before September 1, 2003, Deputy Economy Minister Andrey Sharonov told reporters today. Initially, the consultations were expected to take place before May 1, 2003. The decision to reschedule the consultations was made by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

According to Sharonov, so far little progress has been made in negotiations over the concept of the gas market's liberalization. Among controversial points are splitting the company into several branches, the liberalization of gas prices and the de-monopolization of gas production.

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