In the first days of December, the Russian government planned to review Gazprom's performance and approve its investment program for 2005. The agenda for the meeting, however, was changed at the last moment when Gazprom announced a drastic revision of its plans in connection with its acquisition of Yuganskneftegaz, the most valuable asset of Yukos (Gazeta.ru, December 1). This decision was both a surprise and a long-expected move predicted by many experts and denied by the management (Vremya novostei, Kommersant, December 1). The rationale for expanding the behemoth of a company into the oil sector remains questionable, and the most fundamental question is about control inside Putin's progressively twisted vertical power structure.
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