Rusian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is currently holding a conference with the heads of Russia's largest oil companies in the House of Government. The Government Information Department told journalists on Monday that the conferees are discussing measures to stabilize world oil prices. The conference is being attended by Vice-Premier Viktor Khristenko and Energy Minister Igor Yusufov. Last week Mikhail Kasyanov told journalists that representatives of Russian oil companies had voiced the initiative to voluntary reduce the volumes of oil extraction and oil exports in an effort to stabilize oil prices. Kasyanov noted that no special governmental decree was expected, "we will just agree with the game rules proposed by oil companies." Commenting on the current world oil prices, Kasyanov said they were lower the "just level". The government, he said, believes $20-25 per barrel of Urals oil would be such a "just price". At the same time, the Premier added that the composition of Russian budgets for 2001-2002 proceeded from quite the sufficient level of $18 per barrel.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now