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Moscow Mayor Says Power Outage Very Costly

Moscow, 28 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said today that the financial losses from this week's power outage in the Russian capital are "very serious."

Speaking during a tour of city-owned properties, Luzhkov again criticized the nation's electricity monopoly, Unified Energy Systems, and its subsidiary for the region, Mosenergo.

Luzhkov, who has sought for years to bring Mosenergo under city control, said the power outage showed the company was plagued by bad management and poor upkeep of its infrastructure.

Luzhkov made no mention of Chechen rebel commander Shamil Basayev, who has claimed responsibility for the outage.

Officials have rejected the claim, saying the power failure was caused by outdated equipment.