Russian Energy's Bright Spark

If Boris Brevnov shapes up UES, other industries could follow

Among the six telephones on the desk of Boris A. Brevnov, chairman of Russia's Unified Energy System, one stands out: the white one with a gold crest in place of a dial. It's a direct line to First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov's office. The two call each other several times a week, working together to overhaul UES, the government-controlled electric utility. With sales of $23 billion, it rivals gas monopoly Gazprom for first place among Russian companies--and is key to the country's economic renewal.

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