Kudrin backs proposal to boost state share in power grid cos.

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The proposal by the Russian Industry and Energy Ministry and electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES) to increase the government's stakes in power grid companies is justified, the Russian finance minister said Saturday.

ST. PETERSBURG, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - The proposal by the Russian Industry and Energy Ministry and electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES) to increase the government's stakes in power grid companies is justified, the Russian finance minister said Saturday.

Speaking at the G8 finance ministers' meeting in St. Petersburg, Alexei Kudrin said: "According to current law, the Russian Federation must own 75% plus one share in the Federal Grid Company and many other grid companies."

The Industry and Energy Ministry and UES propose that the state invest 199 billion rubles ($7.37 bln) in the charter capital of the companies, including 160 bln rubles ($5.9 bln) in the Federal Grid Company by 2010, in order to bring the government stakes up to the level stipulated by Russian law.

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