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Putin’s Top Aide Says Freeze on Utility Prices May Win Backing

President Vladimir Putin’s top economic aide is looking at backing a proposed freeze on price growth for natural gas, power and rail monopolies next year as the Russian government seeks to control inflation.

The government’s planned moratorium is “much stronger” than what had proposed in June to help rein in inflation and stimulate the economy, Kremlin aide Andrei Belousov said today in a phone interview. The proposals must still be discussed, and some conditions set in place, he said.