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Far East investment needed, Kremlin says

Sept. 18, 2012 at 7:07 AM
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MOSCOW, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the Kremlin would consider a special tax regime for economic partners in the Far East and Siberia.

Medvedev told lawmakers he was "convinced" the region wouldn't be able to catch up economically without new tax considerations. He advocated the creation of a special fund or company that would help with investments in the region.

"We need to gather our courage and create different tax and property regimes, which will be a tricky thing and cause arguments within government and frankly speaking between the regions at different levels," he was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

His comments come as Russian energy company Gazprom focuses on investments in the region. More than 85 percent of deliveries of liquefied natural gas from Gazprom were to Asia-Pacific countries in 2011. This week, Gazprom said it aims to invest more than $14 billion on developments in the Sakhalin region north of Japan.

Gazprom is the recent target of an antitrust probe launched by the European Commission. The EC said Gazprom may be abusing its market position in Eastern European countries.

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