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    RUSSIA WOULD WELCOME OPEC'S PRICE RESTRAINING - RUSSIAN DEPUTY ENERGY MINISTER

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    VIENNA, MARCH 31. (RIA NOVOSTI) -- Russia would welcome a decision of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries which could pacify the world raw-materials markets and keep the oil prices within the limits acceptable for countries consumers and producers of raw oil.

    This declaration was made in Vienna by Alexander Voronin, Russian deputy Energy Minister, participating in the regular 130th OPEC conference.

    "The oil price situation in recent months is disquieting", he noted.

    "Since the end of last December, the price of oil has been above the upper limit of the price corridor (28 dollars per barrel)", Voronin said.

    "It would be appropriate to combine the efforts of OPEC and independent producers in deciding on the stabilisation of the world energy markets", believes the deputy energy minister.

    "We cannot seek financial profit at the consumers' expense. This leads to the growth of inflation and destabilisation of the world economy", he said.

    "Talking of the need to maintain the stability of the world oil markets, Russia cannot forget about its own purely economic and political problems", Voronin stressed. They are linked, above all, to "meeting long-term strategic goals targeting the conduct of structural reforms in the national economy".

    "These reforms are aimed at the ensurance of a substantial growth of the gross domestic product in a short time and, in the final count, at increasing the standard of living of the population. These goals guide us in deciding on the volume of oil exports", the Russian spokesman said.

    Russia will, as before, link the decision on the quantity of the export of oil with not only its export obligations but also in view of the development tendency of the world oil markets, Voronin noted.

    "In this connection, we stressed one more time that interaction with OPEC in this matter continues to be a priority for us", the Russian chief delegate told the 130th OPEC conference in Vienna.

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