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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia to Attend OPEC Meeting in Japan

Russia will be represented at this month's meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Osaka, Japan, Energy Minister Igor Yusufov said Monday.

"It is impossible not to cooperate with OPEC, particularly after the tragic events of Sept. 11 last year, and Russia will take part not only in the upcoming meeting, but in all other OPEC meetings as well," Yusufov told reporters.

The Sept. 19 meeting is to decide future production levels for the oil cartel.

Russia is not an OPEC member, but it agreed to cut its oil exports by 150,000 barrels a day until June in a bid to boost the sagging oil prices. However, the Kremlin officially ended export restrictions in the third quarter after Russia's aggressive oil companies strongly pushed for dropping the cuts.

OPEC, meanwhile, has decided to maintain its production ceiling through September and has remained wary of the Russian oil companies' eagerness to expand their market share at the expense of the cartel.

Yusufov stressed Monday that Russia would base its cooperation with OPEC on the country's own economic interests.

He said Russia could significantly increase crude production and exports in the fourth quarter of the year to meet the demand of international markets, including the United States.

"However, the fair price of oil is of primary importance for us," Yusufov said. Russian officials have said that the price should be between $22 and $25 a barrel.

Yusufov said the Russian delegation to the Osaka meeting would be headed by one of his deputies, but he declined to say which one.