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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fradkov Questions Sell-Offs

Cabinet ministers gave Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Kirill Androsov a rough ride Friday when he proposed bolstering the country's privatization plans.

"There's no point in rushing like mad and pushing it through recklessly," Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov told a government meeting, after putting off a decision on the plan to an unspecified date. "You don't need to impose it on us. We've all gotten a bit cleverer," he said.

Androsov and Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref want to widen the existing plan under which the government will privatize 11 state bodies and sell stakes in 78 enterprises. Androsov said the budget factored in 41 billion rubles ($1.58 billion) of gains from privatization in 2007.

Other ministers pitched in to support Fradkov, who said he opposed reducing state involvement in several sectors.

Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev criticized the plan because it would mean privatizing centers that carry out artificial insemination of cattle.

"Who would we turn to when we have to get a cow pregnant?" Fradkov asked.

Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev later issued a statement with a more robust rebuttal of Gref's plans. "The minister remarked that the ministry cannot support plans that have not been thought through for privatizing state bodies and enterprises which are part of the state forestry, water and subsoil agencies," the statement said.