Russian Energy Minister on the possibility of creating a strategic oil reserve

Russia is considering the possibility of creating a strategic oil reserve in the course of the next couple of years, announced Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov on Tuesday while visiting a storage of the US strategic oil reserve in Freeport, Texas. Yusufov is attending the first Russia-US energy summit which opened in Houston yesterday.

According to his words, the Russian oil reserve will serve a different purpose than that of the USA. It will be designated, in the first place, for countries that are in acute need of oil, and only then for Russia's own needs.

Yusufov said the reserve could be created in the process of increasing oil production, which Russia intended to do in the next few years. If that is done, there will be no need to reduce Russian export of oil.

US media reported that Yusufov was the first official representative from the former Soviet republics to have visited the storage of the US strategic oil reserve, a closed and strictly guarded facility. The Russian minister himself described his visit as an "unprecedented step" and a manifestation of trust on the part of the United States.