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    RUSSIAN ECONOMICS MINISTER WANTS NATURAL MONOPOLY INFRASTRUCTURE DEMONOPOLISED

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 18, 2008, RIA NOVOSTI - Russian Economics Minister Herman Gref called for the demonopolisation of natural monopolies' infrastructure as he spoke Wednesday at Moscow's Academy of National Economy.

    Natural monopolies' services sector should be demonopolised, Gref said. According to him, Russia's natural monopolies have developed in-house systems of services, including construction, insurance, and consulting. Such system are inefficient and may undermine investors' confidence, argues the minister.

    This year, Russia's Economic Development and Trade Ministry is going to propose a legislative act obligating all natural monopolies to place orders on a competitive basis only, Gref said. He hopes that a bill on government purchases will be tabled this next spring, to get through parliament in the autumn.

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