Russian region issues ration coupons for petrol: report

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Russia's Tuva region introduced ration coupons, an instrument last used under Soviet rule, for petrol due to severe shortage of fuel despite Moscow slapping a ban on exports, Ria Novosti reported.

Authorities in the Siberian region said they were forced to resort to measure after supplies were no longer readily available at service stations and to ensure public transport could continue operating.

Tuva authorities also opened an investigation after one company hiked prices to 50 rubles (1.25 euros, $1.79) a liter.

The Russian government slapped a ban on petrol exports for the month of May to stem shortages spreading throughout the country despite it being a leading producer of crude oil.

Analysts said Russian oil companies have preferred to ship more petrol abroad following a government decision in February aimed at keeping pump prices stable and tamp down inflation.

Petrol shortages and consumer prices rises have been gaining increasing attention ahead of upcoming parliamentary polls.

© 2011 AFP

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