President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Good afternoon, Sergei Ivanovich,
How is the organization of the new Ministry going?
Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko: Dmitry Anatolyevich, I want to report that in accordance with your decree on the Government’s organisation, the Ministry of Energy has practically completed preparations for the Ministry’s organisation. A draft statute on the Ministry has been drafted and approved, and it has already received the final endorsement of the Government Presidium. As defined by this statute, the Ministry is a federal executive body responsible for the electricity, oil, gas and coal sectors, the oil refinery industry, production sharing agreements concerning fossil fuels, and the petrochemicals industry.
Dmitry Medvedev: The Ministry is beginning its work just as one of our most important joint-stock companies, RAO Unified Energy Systems of Russia [RAO UES] ends its work. I would like to hear from you what measures you are taking to ensure that changes in the way the market is regulated do not affect consumers, what still needs to be done, and how regulatory functions in the electricity sector will be carried out taking into account the earlier decisions on reform in the sector.
Sergei Shmatko: The Ministry of Energy has been involved in this work right from the start. We have already met with the heads of RAO UES, with Anatoly Chubais and the leading specialists. You are absolutely right in that a completely new situation is taking shape on the country’s energy market. Our analysis shows that RAO UES has made thorough preparations in this area and that OAO System Operator, OAO Trade System Administrator and so on will be able to carry out the current regulatory functions quite effectively.
What are our concerns today? We are about to start active preparations for the peak demand autumn-winter season, and we are also busy at the moment with the question of how the Ministry of Energy will be involved in monitoring, preventing and remedying potential crises or problems in the electricity sector. This is our main task at the moment.
Dmitry Medvedev: This is indeed the main task, and you must keep your finger on the pulse. I repeat that none of our consumers should be affected by the fact that reform of the sector’s management system has taken place (and it has indeed been completed today, as we wanted). There must be no glitches during the handover of regulatory functions and I ask you to keep this matter under your constant control.
Sergei Shmatko: We will do this, Dmitry Anatolyevich.