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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Set to Limit Energy Price Hikes

Russian President Boris Yeltsin is expected to sign a decree in the near future limiting price increases on natural gas, electricity and rail transport in an effort to help get industry moving again, officials said Thursday.

The order would temporarily freeze or cut rates until new mechanisms for setting prices according to market forces can be put in place.

"We need to create conditions for economic growth," said Vyacheslav Margunov, head of the price department at the Economics Ministry, one of the main backers of the draft order.

Officials say many of the measures also are mandated under Russia's $10 billion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund as ways to improve government regulation of the economy and control inflationary pressures.

The steps are aimed at easing a growing imbalance in the Russian economy, where artificially low utility prices for households are subsidized by rates for industrial consumers that far exceed world levels.