Electric power industry vital for Russia's economy - PM Fradkov

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Russia's electric power industry is a key element that will drive the country's future economic development, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said Wednesday.

MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's electric power industry is a key element that will drive the country's future economic development, Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said Wednesday.

"The development of the electric power industry is a key reserve of the development of the Russian economy," he said at the opening of a government meeting on the future of energy industry.

Fradkov said there were fears of a growing gap between the demands of the economy and energy production, which had led to a slowdown in economic growth, but added that the industry has potential and could still attract investment.

President Vladimir Putin Friday told a government session on the power sector attended by the heads of electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES) and energy giant Gazprom that Russia's electricity monopoly is unable to meet demand from commercial consumers, seriously hampering annual GDP growth, and called for a development program for the sector to be drawn up as soon as possible.

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