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Russian aluminum industry should become the driving force of Russia's economy
The aluminum industry should become the driving force of Russia's economy, as there are no other sectors capable of doing so. Rusal experts pledge to explain this idea to Mr. Fradkov and ask the state for cheap electricity and assistance in acquiring foreign assets. Vedomosti has obtained a Rusal report "On the role of the state in increasing competitiveness of the Russian economy." In particular, it cites Pavel Shatsky, acting director of Rusal's energy department, as saying, "We are raising the issue of state control over pricing policy on the electric power market and the possibility of long-term fixed tariffs for new energy consuming plants." "Before introducing privileged tariffs, it is important to understand who will cover energy companies' expenses," a representative of Russia's Unified Energy Systems (UES) argues. However, Anton Danilov-Danilyan, ex-chief of the economic department of the presidential administration, believes that attracting investment in the construction of power generating units is a better solution than fixing tariffs, as it will naturally cut the prices. Officials differed on Rusal's initiatives. Andrei Deineko, head of the metallurgy department of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, believes that tariff policy could be optimized in a bid to support the aluminum industry. However, a representative of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade described the report as "blatant lobbying." Rusal is the world's third largest aluminum company, controlling 70% of primary aluminum production in Russia. In 2003, Rusal plants produced 2.58 million tons of aluminum yielding the holding $4.5 billion in profits.
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