- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 15, 2009

VIENNA (AP) - Russia says that it wants to send a permanent observer to OPEC.

Moscow also said it wants to reduce oil production. That’s welcome news to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting countries as it seeks to bolster prices by cutting the amount of oil available on world markets.

Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin spoke Sunday at a meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Russia prizes its independence and is unlikely to become an OPEC member. It may be cutting production in part because it can no longer pump at present levels.

Signs of closer cooperation between the largest non-OPEC producer of oil and the organization accounting for more than a third of world output are closely watched for their effect on supply and prices.

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