FRADKOV: GOVERNMENT FOR "INTELLIGENT" INTERVENTION IN OIL INDUSTRY

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MOSCOW, March 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The state ought to intervene in petroleum corporate activities in an "intelligent way", says prime-ministerial nominee Mikhail Fradkov.

When a Liberal Democratic MP asked him, whether it was worthwhile to set up a unitary government petroleum company, he replied, in part:

"There are problems in oil industry-taxes underpaid, and the companies getting smaller profits than they can. So I think it is high time for clever, powerful and well-pondered government participation in it." At the same time, petroleum industry is essentially competitive, and needs normal conditions for just and aboveboard competition, he stressed.

Mr. Fradkov was consulting today with groups at the State Duma, parliament's lower house.

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