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  Thursday, August 6, 2020
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German Gref:"The privatisation of Aeroflot and Svyazinvest is dictated by market competition"
The privatisation of Aeroflot and Svyazinvest is dictated by market competition, said German Gref, economic development and trade minister, at a briefing held Thursday following the discussion of the 2005 privatisation plan at a Cabinet's session. Speaking about Aeroflot, Gref pointed out that passenger carriage by air transport was not a task of the state. In his words, the state must ensure these flights, including their security. At the same time, Gref noted, state participation in Aeroflot tangibly restricts competition in the air traffic market. "Aeroflot must be placed in market conditions. This will enhance the efficiency of the company's management and increase its competitiveness ability," Gref said. "Our final objective is to cut air transportation costs for both the economy and the passengers. This task can be realised only through market competition," he added. In the minister's opinion, state control of traditional communications also hinders market competition with mobile communications operators. He recalled that Svyazinvest owned controlling share packets of traditional communications operators. "This reduces their ability to manoeuvre on the market of these companies. [After their privatisation,] they will become more flexible and capable of competing with mobile communications operators, Gref said. At the same time, the minister believes that, while privatising these companies, the state should not give up control over these sectors. "It is important not to delay the privatisation and place these companies on the market in time, but it is also important to retain state control over them," Gref said. "Obviously, we must not protract this work. We take the risk of lagging behind in this process and reducing the sectors' profitability," Gref said in conclusion.
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