Real reform of Gazprom to start after presidential elections

Russia's Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref said at the meeting with representatives of the French business community that the Russian government plans to begin a real reform of Gazprom after the presidential elections.

"We hope that this natural monopoly will also be touched upon in the next political cycle of reform [2004-2008] ... We have such plans," Mr. Gref said.

Mr. Gref did not specify the government's plans in this sphere.

He also said the reform of the other Russian natural monopolies would continue. In particular, "in 2007 it is planned to open the electricity market," Mr. Gref said. According to him, by 2007 Russia will switch to real competition of electricity producers.

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