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Medvedev Signs Draft Decree to Control Prices in Sochi

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a draft decree proposing to regulate prices of certain services during the Sochi Winter Olympics and the Paralympics Games, according to a document published on the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service's website.  

The list of services includes medical, transportation, tourism and personal grooming related services, catering services and Internet access, according to the decree published Wednesday.

The decree states that the government will not set price caps, but instead will mandate that the local administration sign agreements by Nov. 1 with companies that provide such services to prevent unjustified price hikes during the Olympics.

The document reiterated that controlling prices for consumer services was one of Russia's responsibilities under the International Olympic Committee regulations.

Earlier, the government said it planned to regulate hotel prices, with the prime minister to approve price caps in that sector, Vedomosti reported Wednesday.

The draft decree has been presented for public review, but it was not clear whether the document would be adopted in its current form, an anti-monopoly service spokeswoman told Vedomosti.

The spokesman also said the government had not finalized penalties to be paid in the event of price gouging, Vedomosti reported.

He added that before a company could obtain a permit to provide services it would have to sign an agreement with the regional and local authorities, and promise to provide them at regulated prices.

Ludmila Saidakovskaya, CEO of SG Tours, said the decree was expected. Otherwise, she added, prices would be set impossibly high and "we will simply embarrass ourselves in front of the whole world."

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