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    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MINISTER: THERE WILL BE NO REVISION OF PRIVATIZATION RESULTS IN RUSSIA

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    PARIS, February 24, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Andrey Nizamutdinov) -- There will be no revision of privatization results in Russia, Economic Development Minister German Gref said Tuesday at a meeting with French businessmen in Paris.

    The Russian authorities repeatedly stated this and have not changed their mind, he said. On the contrary, the "state's presence in the economy is too big" today. "We see one of the key idea of continued economic reforms in a speeded up privatization of those sectors that potentially may become competitive," Gref said.

    The task, according to him, is to "get away as much as possible from monopolizing markets" and from the state's participation in the sectors where commercial entities may take over.

    The Economic Development Minister said also that largest possible number of sales of poorly operating industrial facilities must be conducted in the coming three years in keeping with the privatization program adopted in the country.

    "The Russian authorities want to keep under state control only the natural-monopoly components," the minister pointed out. He explained that reference was to railways, power transmission lines and the pipeline system. "The state is going to leave all the other sectors," Gref said.

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