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    FORMER CHAIRMAN OF FEDERAL ENERGY COMMISSION IS READY TO HEAD FEDERAL TARIFFS SERVICE

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    MOSCOW, March 10, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Former chairman of the Federal Energy Commission of the Russian Federation Georgy Kutovoi is ready to head the Federal Tariffs Service, though he regards the transformation of the Federal Energy Commission as "the lowering of its status." "I was appointed to the post of the head of the Federal Energy Commission by the President, and if he believes that I must continue to perform my duties, I am ready to do it. But if he says "enough," I will agree," said Georgy Kutovoi in the interview he gave to RIA Novosti. "However, what has happened is the lowering of our status as civil servants." Georgy Kutovoi added: "But personally, I am not interested in the career stairs." According to him, he received the decree on the transformation of the Federal Energy Commission into the Federal Tariffs Service today in the first half of the day.

    "The conversation about changes in the leadership with the government and with the Premier will take place later, most likely, I think, after the elections," he said.

    Georgy Kutovoi noted that the process of the transformation of the Federal Energy Commission would take two months," because this is connected with sacking people." Commenting on the transformation of the Federal Energy Commission into the Federal Tariffs Service, which will be subordinate to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Kutovoi said that this measure was "a departure from the international practice" under which such bodies must be independent.

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