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President Vladimir Putin met with government officials and members of the Kremlin Executive Office

February 5, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow

The meeting focused on current issues in the energy sector. In his opening remarks the President talked about a series of personnel decisions made to improve the critical situation with heat and energy supplies to Primorye and several other regions. Energy Minister Alexander Gavrin had filed his resignation, and Primorye Governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko had talked to Mr Putin of his decision to step down.

Commenting on the role of RAO UES of Russia, the President told the meeting that RAO management was largely to blame for the crisis, because the company had failed to store enough energy and even aggravated the situation by rolling blackouts.

The President emphasized the need for systemic changes in the Energy Ministry’s and RAO UES’s work.

Mr. Putin also thanked the Russian secret services, especially the Federal Security Service, for liberating U.S. citizen Kenneth Gluck, a Doctors Without Borders official, who had been kidnapped on January 9 in the Chechen village of Starye Atagi.

February 5, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow