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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UES Plan Ready for President

A working group on power sector reform will hand President Vladimir Putin a compromise version of a blueprint for overhauling utility Unified Energy Systems on Wednesday, a group member said.

Prosperity Capital Management director Alexander Branis said chairman Viktor Kress, the governor of the Tomsk region, would hand over the document on Wednesday morning.

"It is obvious that a majority of working group members supported the document" at a Tuesday meeting, he said. But he said it remained unclear how the working group's proposals would fit together with the government's own revised proposals, which come up for approval Friday.

Another group member said the document failed to satisfy key members of the working group, whom Putin ordered to find a compromise on the government's reform plan after squabbling broke out when it was tentatively approved in December. "The Kress document is nothing comprehensive. It's essentially a description of all possible options and suggestions," the source said, adding the group could meet again.

UES deputy chief executive Valentin Zavadnikov blasted the government's plan, which has been shepherded through revisions by the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, as half measures and said if it was approved, it would be a face-saving exercise.

"This is probably a complicated compromise for the sake of compromise," Zavadnikov said.

Deputy Minister Andrei Sharonov told journalists Monday the government was proposing to spin off regional utilities from UES and consolidate them into competing entities, leaving only the national grid in government control.