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21 Jul, 2008 04:23

Federal AntiMonopoly Service ready to start talks with Gazprom on equal access to pipes.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service says it's ready to start negotiating with Gazprom on giving independent gas companies equal access to pipelines. The announcement comes after prime minister Vladimir Putin urged the FAS to resolve the access problem.

FAS head Igor Artyemyev told Business Today he's ready for a “serious dispute” adding,

The papers are ready, the problem is to understand what is acceptable and what is not for Gazprom and why, because we need to provide equal access to gas pipelines, while Gazprom says it will never agree to this principle, and the prime minister says – no, you will agree as it's in the national interests to settle the issue. So apparently first there'll be a serious dispute between our service and Gazprom, then the issue will move to the level of deputy prime minister Igor Sechin, and at his suggestion it will be considered by the government.