Russia: Gasoline shortages provoke furor

April 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM
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TOMSK, Russia, April 27 (UPI) -- Gasoline shortages in northern Russia have angered the public, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

Some analysts concluded government price controls were the cause of shortages. In part meant to appease the public in advance of national elections, low gas prices in Russia had put local deliveries at a disadvantage compared to international markets, RIA Novosti said.

In the Siberian city of Tomsk, the price of gasoline at service stations rose 16 percent in one day this week. An official said public buses "could not get fuel … (as) there were long lines at filling stations and only 25 liters per bus were sold, while a bus needs 80-100 liters per day."

Supply company Gazprom Neft said it had sent additional fuel to the Altai region in the center of Siberia. In the meantime, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ordered an investigation into the cause of the shortages.

The Federal Antimonopoly Service has said it suspected the big oil companies, which include Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, had conspired to manipulate the market.

Prosecutors have also filed cases against Rosneft and Gazprom Neft, RIA Novosti said.

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