The press secretary of vice-premier Aleksei Kudrin reported to journalists that at its meeting on Friday the governmental commission on protective measures in foreign trade and customs and tariff policy decided to recommend to the government to reduce the oil export duty rate from the present 23.4 euro per ton to USD 8 per ton. He explained that according to the new legislation the export duty rate was established in euro and not in dollars as before. In case the recommendation adopted by the commission is legalized as a governmental enactment, then the export duty reduction would lead to higher cost-efficiency of oil export operations. He continued that this in its turn would positively affect revenues of oil companies which dropped recently due to reduction of oil prices as well as due to the joint decision of the government and oil companies to restrict oil export operations. In accordance with the monitoring conducted by the commission, the average price for Urals brand oil in November-December of 2001 reached the level of USD 18.2 per barrel or USD 132.86 per ton. According to the procedure to determine the duty rate, in this case the rate should not exceed USD 8.2 per ton.