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Yury Luzhkov said ordinary people and industries paid enough for electricity to ensure that the energy system worked appropriately
In an interview published in today's Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a government newspaper, Yury Luzhkov said ordinary people and industries paid enough for electricity to ensure that the energy system worked appropriately, which meant that the energy companies did not lack funds but professionalism. When speaking about the cause of last week's blackout (part of the capital and Russia's central regions were left without electricity for nearly a day on May 25 after an accident at a substation), the mayor of Moscow said: "If we continue to use money for industry in politics or somewhere else, we will have more crises." According to him, Russia used to have a powerful vertically integrated energy system that was expertly controlled by central and regional dispatch centers. "Privatization is disrupting this unity," Luzhkov told the newspaper. "We should be very cautious when launching restructuring and reorganization, because the transition to a different form of ownership and forms of control is an extremely dangerous period." The mayor said that this problem was compounded in Mosenergo (a subsidiary of electricity giant Unified Energy Systems RAO UES) by a lack of good management. Accordingly, he said Russians had a combination of two problems - hasty reforms with bad management. Luzhkov said he hoped the state and law enforcement agencies would draw the appropriate conclusions from the crisis. The Moscow government has drawn its conclusions and plans to sue for damages. Though the size of damage will be made public only this week, it is apparent that the losses were considerable and the consequences serious. Luzhkov said the capital had partially protected itself from a repetition of such crises by buying an 8% stake in Mosenergo and also planned to buy the Moscow Grid Company, which is responsible for monitoring and controlling electricity distribution. "We will try to manage the electricity flow better than it has been done to this day," the Moscow mayor said.
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