Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov will meet with representatives of major Russian oil companies in the House of Government on Wednesday. In the course of the meeting, a coordinated policy is to be adopted by the government and oilmen for the first quarter of 2002 "with projection to the second quarter" in connection with changes in the situation on the world oil markets. According to Mikhail Kasyanov, such a meeting is needed "for the elaboration of common principles and consolidated opinion concerning the behaviour of the Russian companies on the oil market." It was already reported that OPEC requests that major oil producers, which are not members of that organisation, that is Mexico, Norway, Oman and Russia, beginning from the new year reduce daily oil export by 500,000 barrels. At the previous meeting between Kasyanov and the oilmen on November 23 a decision was made to reduce Russian oil export by 50,000 barrels ! ! a day already in the fourth quarter of this year. Experts believe that this time the reduction may be more substantial although officials refrain from making forecasts. Kasyanov himself said that the volume of reduction will be determined during the meeting.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.