A meeting between Prime-Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and the heads of Russia's largest oil companies is to take place at the Government House on Friday. As Kasyanov himself told journalists, at the meeting it is envisaged to take a decision on the volume of oil export in the third quarter. According to the Premier, the situation on the world oil markets has not been changing for a rather long period of time, and this serves as a basis for finalizing the plans for the third quarter. At the meeting the current situation will be appraised, the statistical data will be analysed, and, after an exchange of views, a decision will be worked out, he said. Since January 2002 Russia has been backing OPEC in the in an ambition to raise and stabilize the oil prices, in connection with which it reduced its oil exports by 150,000 barrels a day. Then Kasyanov announced Russia's intention to target at a price within a corridor of 20-25 dollars per barrel. This aim has been attained: the price rose from 17-19 dollars in December to 25-27 in May. Already for more than two months the price has remained within the corridor designated by the Premier. The government and the oil workers will have to decide if the growth of oil prices is of a speculative character stemming from the military threats.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.