MOSCOW, September 8. /TASS/. Russia’s accession to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is not on the agenda, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "As far as I know, the issue of Russia’s accession to this organization has not been brought to the agenda," he said.
Peskov noted that Russia maintained contacts with OPEC representatives at the expert level.
On Monday, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said that OPEC had suggested that Russia become a member of the organization, but Russia remains an observer. "The negotiations between Russia and OPEC are quite positive, they lead to an exchange of views. OPEC offered Russia to become a member of the organization," he said. Sechin also noted that in the OPEC member-countries oil extraction is overseen by state-owned companies, "while Russia’s oil industry is privately owned, which is not typical of the OPEC member-countries." According to him, due to its climatic conditions, Russia cannot regulate oil production quickly.
"The Russian government, realizing the differences in the conditions of [oil] production and property, agrees to the observer status in OPEC. However, it cannot join the organization due to the circumstances, which we have mentioned," Sechin said. Rosneft head added that "OPEC has lost its functions as a market regulator." "Which means that it’s pointless for Russia to join this organization," he said.