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GECF puts its confidence in Russian leader

The new gas producers organization has appointed Russian Leonid Bokhanovsky to the secretary generals position, expecting Russia to use its political influence. Energy Minister Shmatko says that faith will be repaid.

A bloc of natural gas exporters has become a reality, united in their desire to combat the falling market.

Russian Energy Secretary Sergey Shmatko foresees an important role for the organization.

“It's not an easy time for gas market these days. So gas exporting countries need coordinated effort to ensure stability of the market. The new organisation can become a platform to trade ideas. We will work in sync to avoid overproduction of gas.”

The participants of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum say they want to maintain a price link between oil and gas which is currently under attack by market forces.

The economic crisis and a global supply glut have pushed what used to be a loose association of exporters to become the gas equivalent of OPEC.

Participants of the forum signed a charter and elected a Russian to be the Secretary General.

“Speaking at the conference I outlined my vision of the long-term development of the organization. How to attract more nations to join. And that was appreciated by those present and helped get me elected,” said new Secretary General Bokhanovsky.

Russian Energy Minister Shmatko said the choice of Secretary General showed the faith the other members have in Russia's political influence. He said that faith would be repaid.

But the forum says it will not be setting quotas like OPEC. However they will keep each other informed of their production intentions and join forces to influence prices.