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15

Russia, OPEC To Enhance Energy Dialogue

Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pledged on Monday

Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pledged on Monday to enhance their dialogue aimed at ensuring market stability and energy security.

During talks with visiting OPEC President Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, who is also Kuwait's Energy Minister, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hailed Russia's cooperation with Kuwait and OPEC and expressed the hope that cooperation with OPEC "will help reach balanced agreements, which meet the interests of both energyproducers and consumers."

Energy security will figure high on the agenda of the upcoming summit of the Group of Eight industrialized countries as Russia takes over the G-8 presidency on Jan. 1, Lavrov said.

Russia is the world's second-largest crude oil producer and exporter and the number-one gas producer and exporter.

At a meeting with Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko, where Russia and OPEC set up the framework of their energy dialogue, Sheikh Ahmad said an enhanced dialogue among producers, in particular between Russia and OPEC, "will benefit globally both producers and consumers, contribute immensely to market stability and improve energy security."