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Russian President Urges State Assets Sell-Off

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev today ordered his cabinet to prepare a schedule to sell its controlling stakes in some key state companies.

Medvedev made the call in a budgetary address, saying the sell-off of state assets must be one of the government's priorities in the coming years.

"The role of the state in managing economic assets should be significantly lowered," he said. "The government should determine a schedule for privatization of big stakes in the state-controlled companies. The state should diminish its share to below the controlling stake level or should give up all such shareholding, if necessary."

Medvedev said the privatization of state assets would attract more foreign investment and encourage competition.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said that the government plans to sell controlling stakes in Rosneft oil company and the national airline, Aeroflot, and other top state-controlled companies over the next three to five years.

He said the state expects the sell-off to yield about $30 billion over the next three years.

compiled from agency reports