The government of Russia will take decisions on stabilizing the situation on the world oil markets on the basis of the results of the consultations which Russia is now holding with the OPEC countries and other oil exporting countries, Vice-Premier of the Russian government Viktor Khristenko said on Tuesday. He noted that the current situation on the oil markets is remaining alarming for the leadership of Russia. "We are certainly interested in stabilization of the situation but the matter concerns not only attainment of reasonable price orders but also the necessity of a balanced character of demand for oil and of its supply," he said. Khristenko explained that the present fall of demand on the world oil markets is linked with the slow-down of the economic growth, and in some countries even with the economic decline. According to the Vice-Premier's forecast, the slowing down or negative growth in the countries with a developed economy must be replaced by positive growth and return to a normal but not emergency regime of the work of the oil market approximately in the first half of the year 2002.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart