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Russia has handed over a draft memorandum on cooperation
Russia has handed over a draft memorandum on cooperation to OPEC and is looking forward to working with the oil cartel once it has approved the document, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin has said.

"We hope the draft cooperation memo will be considered at an [OPEC] session in Algeria [in December]. It has to be approved by all the member states," Sechin said, speaking in Venezuela, a founding OPEC member, where he was accompanying President Dmitry Medvedev on an official visit.

Medvedev said earlier in Caracas that Russia was ready to coordinate oil market polices with the 13-nation Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries against the backdrop of falling oil prices and the ongoing financial crisis.

"Russia wants fair oil prices - which must not be too low or too high," Medvedev said, agreeing with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that $80-$100 per barrel would be a fair price for oil.

OPEC cut oil production by 1.5 million barrels a day last month, but crude prices have continued to fall. Prices have fluctuated between approximately $50 and $54 a barrel this week against a peak of nearly $150 in July.

Medvedev said Russia was concerned by fluctuations in oil prices. Officials in Russia, whose recent economic growth was mainly driven by high energy prices, have blamed falling crude prices on the worldwide credit crunch and market speculation.

An executive at Russia's largest independent crude producer, LUKoil, said in late October that Russia would reduce oil production by 1-1.5% next year.

"Cooperation has started between Russia and OPEC," the company's vice president, Leonid Fedun, said.


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