Russian Energy Minister Alexander Gavrim said that current relations between Russia and OPEC were based on "mutual respect, cooperation and Understanding".
"Cooperation (by the Organization) is not only with OPEC countries, but also with countries that do not belong to the Organization", the official stated, adding however that his country is not considering the possibility of formally joining OPEC.
As regards the US government's decision to use its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, he pointed out that this was an internal decision of that government. "I think that my opinion would not be favourable to such a decision", Gavrim said in a press conference.
On referring to his country's pricing policy, he said that he believed "the price of oil should be between 24 and 25 dollars per barrel in the short term, and between 26 and 30 dollars in the medium term.
For the Russian minister, excessively high prices would lead to a crisis that would eventually generate a sharp fall in prices, something that would damage the economies of the producing countries.
In this sense, he argued that the decisions taken by the OPEC countries should be balanced, so as not to allow sudden fluctuations in prices to take place. This must be accompanied by reciprocal understanding among producers and consumers.
He ended by saying that country would avail itself of the opportunity offered by the II OPEC Summit to open cooperation possibilities between Venezuela and Russia though their state-owned oil companies.
source - OPEC.ORG - Caracas, september 26 2000 (II OPEC Summit Press Office).
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)