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Siberian car-owners protest against gasoline price hike

KRASNOYARSK, September 8 (RIA Novosti) - Hundreds of car drivers took to the streets Friday in a protest against high gasoline prices in the central Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.

According to the State Statistics Committee, gasoline prices have grown by an average of 8.3% since the beginning of the year, provoking government concerns the fast growth may outstrip the annual inflation target of 9%.

"The demonstration represents the public opinion of car-owners, who demand that the federal authorities rectify the pricing policy for oil products," said Denis Pashkov, head of the regional industry, energy and transport agency of the Krasnoyarsk Territory.

Pashkov, who is also attending the event, said local authorities supported the car-owners' demands, which include state control over prices of oil products, tax cuts, particularly on severance tax, and a rise in export duties on oil products.

The nation's top statistics body said gasoline prices in Russia had risen 1.3% in the week of August 14-21.

The average price of gasoline stood at 17.52 rubles (about $0.65) per liter on August 21, with the price of the low-octane A-76 and Ai-80 brands at 15.62 rubles ($0.58), the regular Ai-92 and Ai-93 brands at 18.35 rubles ($0.68) and Ai-95 premium brand at 19.65 rubles (abut $0.73).

The price of diesel went up 0.6% in the reporting period to an average of 17.08 rubles ($0.64) per liter.

Growth in average motor gasoline prices was registered in 50 centers of Russia's 88 regions.

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