Russia ready to substitute for Mideast states in oil deliveries to US, West

The Russian participants in the G8 energy ministers' forum, held in Detroit May 2-3, note Russia's readiness to become the guarantor of stability at the world market of energy resources, said Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusufov in his report before the meeting's participants Friday. His adviser Alexei Turbin reported that in his speech Yusufov thoroughly discussed the initiative worked out during a Moscow meeting with his American counterpart Spencer Abraham. The initiative envisages the establishment within the framework of G8 of a special consultative body comprising four producers of energy carriers (Russia, the US, Canada and Great Britain) and four consumers. Sources close to the forum's organizers informed RIA Novosti that Russia's role in this body could be that of a guarantor of deliveries of energy materials to all the major economic systems of the world in case of crises. In his turn, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, chairman of the board of Russian oil company Yukos, who spoke during the discussions of the oil sector representatives, noted that Russia was able to increase oil production from 7 to 9 million barrels a day. "Russia can become a world oil supplier in case of contingency," he said. To this effect, Khodorkovsky thinks, the world needs to give up the remaining stereotypes as concerns the increase of Russian energy carrier import volumes. The meeting also mentioned that the demand for energy resources would sky-rocket soon. In this connection the issue of diversification of energy sources is put on the agenda, in particular, orientation exclusively to the Mideast should be given up.

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