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Development of market mechanisms is an important element of power industry liberalization. This paper describes the situation in the Russian power industry after the first stage of reform in the 1990s and presents an overview of the status of power sector liberalization. A new legislative base in the area of electricity supply has opened new perspectives for further market transformations. Some technical characteristics of the industry are given. Necessary conditions for investment attraction are analyzed. External influence on policy making in the industry's reform is discussed.