Kasyanov: Nobody Is Entitled To Dictate To Russia Its Oil Policy

Commenting on yesterday's OPEC decision to send world oil extraction quotas down, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said that Russia determines its volume of oil extraction and export on recommendations from its exporters and "there is no one to dictate to us these norms." The Russian leadership is seeking to maintain a balance of the interests of oil producers, exporters and consumers, which gives clues to the formation of Russian government policies in the energy industry, said Kasyanov. The prime minister added that he did not see the recent decline in the world oil prices as a fixed trend. "These are market fluctuations, which has become a routine, and one has just to accept them," he noted. As to a likely impact of the oil price slide on the Russian economy, the government had foreseen such a development and the 2002 budget was estimated with the account of such projected fluctuations and therefore all expenditure items were designed stemming from this pessimistic scenario.