Chubais Says Reforms Require Competition

ST. PETERSBURG — A leading architect of the country's post-Soviet economic transition said Sunday that without political competition, President Dmitry Medvedev's reforms could not be properly implemented.

Anatoly Chubais, a chief supporter of market-friendly reforms, warned that officials could distort markets and create major problems if they were left unaccountable.

In a speech to officials and investors about a reform plan set out earlier by First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, Chubais said that without proper feedback and political competition Russia's state risked being completely ineffective.

"There is a political component here and we must discuss this," Chubais said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. "We must rate the state from the point of view of quality of service, the quality of the services provided, which are provided in the economy and the country as a whole — governor, minister, government, president."

"A rating of the quality of this service is impossible without real feedback and without a truly competitive political mechanism," he said

Chubais is also head of the monopoly electricity utility Unified Energy System, which will cease to exist on July 1, giving way to a web of privatized spinoffs.