A program on liberalizing the gas market in Russia will be considered at a government meeting on December 19, 2002, Deputy Economy Minister Andrey Sharonov declared at a conference devoted to the liberalization of the Russian gas market. He was quoted as saying that first of all, a set of measures regarding pricing and taxation should be taken to liberalize the gas market. It is also necessary to provide consumers and producers with indiscriminative access to the pipeline system, he added.
According to the Deputy Minister, the question of dividing activities of the Russian gas monopolist into production and transportation should be solved. It is possible to create different structures that can be either independent or affiliated with Gazprom. At the same time, this issue should be agreed to with Gazprom and the Russian government, Sharonov stressed.
Moreover, the Deputy Economy Minister pointed out that "a fast liberalization of gas prices should not be carried out", because it would affect the whole Russian economy.
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