Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday instructed the agriculture and energy ministries to solve the problem of gasoline shortages in the country to ensure the start of spring cultivation, local media reported.
Putin instructed the ministers to see "what is really happening " in the regions that suffer from fuel shortage right now.
He cited a statement from the Volgograd and Saratov regions saying that the lack of gasoline is hampering spring cultivation.
On the same day, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said the government may take more steps to ensure uninterrupted deliveries of gasoline to the local markets, including examining the operation of crude oil trading and gasoline exchanges if it does not see a stable market.
A gasoline shortage started last month in Russia's Altai Republic and spread to 20 other Russian regions, including the country's two hubs of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Federal Anti-trust Service, the government's competition watchdog, has accused large oil companies of operating a price fixing cartel.
Putin on Tuesday ordered to investigate the cause of fuel shortage.