Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said that it was a consolidated decision to cut Russia's oil exports by 150,000 barrels a day, beginning with January 1, 2002. The head of government told reporters about it on Wednesday after the conference with the heads of nine biggest Russian oil companies which account for 95 percent of the entire Russian oil exports. According to the Prime Minister, "the aim of this consolidated decision is to stabilise the oil prices on the world market." This decision, he said, was adopted taking into consideration the position of other world oil exporters, both members of the OPEC and independent exporters. Mikhail Kasyanov also pointed out that the oil price of about 20-25 dollars per barrel suited Russia. "This figure has not been spun out of thin air, it has been formed taking into consideration the interests of the consumers, the collection of taxes and the investments made into our country," he observed. According to him, earlier Russia already took decisions to cut its oil exports in the fourth quarter of 2001 at first by 30,000 and then by 50,000 barrels a day. The Prime Minister hopes that the decision taken on Wednesday to cut oil exports by 150,000 barrels a day will be fulfilled by Russian exporters. And he guaranteed its observance by the government.
U.S. Justice Department is acting behind the scenes to have Assange extradicted from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and prosecuted in the U.S.