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Russia Privatizations on Schedule

November 11, 1997

MOSCOW (AP) _ Russia plans to go ahead with several major privatizations in the next two months despite recent turmoil in world financial markets, a top government official said Tuesday.

``We don’t need to dramatize the situation or make any changes to our plans,″ Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Boiko said. ``I think there are some big strategic investors out there still who are interested.″

The government plans a series of auctions of major oil holdings in the next few months. Parts of Eastern Oil Co., Tyumen Oil Co., Slavneft and Lukoil will be sold off before the end of the year, Boiko said.

Most of oil company Rosneft will be sold by the second quarter of next year, he said.

The government had originally intended to open all the sales to foreign investors. President Boris Yeltsin earlier this month signed a decree removing a 15 percent limit on foreign ownership of privatized Russian oil companies.

But Boiko said the decree may not have come soon enough for some of the sales, because the sales were already announced. As a result, limitations on foreigners still apply to the privatizations of Eastern Oil and Tyumen Oil.

A number of major international oil companies are expected to participate in the auctions.

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