Putin mulls Opec-style gas group

Qatar's emir says he is unsure whether a gas cartel would aid market control.

    Putin pledged to develop ties with the Islamic world during his first visit to Riyadh [AFP]

    Putin said: "It is important for us to understand each other, to co-operate, to work on common approaches for the creation of unified conditions for consumers."
     
    Iran - which is developing its gas industry - said in January it was in favour of forming a cartel.
     
    Nuclear offer
     
    The country's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei proposed Iran and Russia create a gas cartel in talks with the head of Russia's security council, Igor Ivanov.
     
    Putin said he would send a team of experts to a natural gas conference being held in Doha in April, where they would discuss details of building a cartel resembling the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
     
    Qatar is an Opec member but Russia is not.
     
    The emirate, which has the world's third largest gas reserves after Russia and Iran, is home to a pair of large US military bases, one of which houses the US command post for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     
    Putin also thanked Saudi Arabia for helping to broker the Mecca agreement between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah.
     
    The Russian president arrived from Riyadh where he offered to help Saudi Arabia develop atomic energy and pledged to develop ties with the Islamic world on the first leg of a regional tour to boost military and energy ties with countries that have traditionally been US allies.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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