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    RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO CONSIDER STRUCTURAL GAS REFORM

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    MOSCOW, February 4th, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - In June the government will debate the structural reform of the gas sector, Russian Power Minister Igor Yusufov said on Wednesday.

    According to him, this issue has been included in the government's agenda.

    At present, the issue is being considered by the Economic Development Ministry and Gazprom, added Yusufov.

    When commenting on the prospects of liberalising Gazprom's stock market, Yusufov said, "We should move towards it, because this is a correct tendency but the question is who will gain and lose from it." "There is no doubt that the stock market should be single, but the mechanism and phases of adopting this decision remain to be determined," noted the Power Minister.

    He refused to answer whether the decision to liberalise the stock market would be adopted before the end of 2004.

    Gazprom Board member Boris Fedorov said on Tuesday at a RIA Novosti press conference that liberalisation would take place before the end of 2004. He stressed that "all the talk about gradual liberalisation should be forgotten, because liberalisation will be full-scale."

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