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    FREEDOM OF CASPIAN PIPELINE IS OVER?

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    MOSCOW, February 18 (RIA Novosti correspondent Elena Fyodorova) - The Federal Energy Commission (FEC) will be insisting on including the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) into the list of natural monopolies subjects.

    "We will be insisting on including the CPC into the list of the companies we are regulating," FEC Chairman Georgy Kutovoi said on Wednesday.

    According to him, the FEC has already turned with the proper proposal to the government, and the issue is being discussed at present.

    Mr. Kutovoi believes that any natural monopoly on the territory of Russia should be a subject of Russian laws, and the CPC is not an exception here. "It's wrong if the government decided some time ago that the law does not cover the CPC," Mr. Kutovoi noted.

    According to him, the CPC management had worked out a scheme, which enables the company to evade taxation.

    Mr. Kutovoi said that the CPC also imports oil, lowers costs of oil transportation and thus works at a loss and does not pay taxes.

    Transnational companies from the USA, Italy and Oman are also shareholders of the CPC besides Russian and Kazakh oil and gas companies.

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