* Energy minister says held talks with OPEC's Badri
* Says OPEC accepts Russian proposal for seminar
* Says seminar could take place by year-end
(Adds details, quotes, background)
By Anastasia Lyrchikova
ABAKAN, Russia, Sept 17 OPEC has agreed to hold
a seminar in Moscow, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said
on Thursday, in a sign both sides want to smooth out differences
over Russia's reluctance to join widespread cuts in oil output.
Shmatko told reporters he had talked in the last two days
with OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri and Qatari Energy
Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah al-Attiyah.
"We agreed that in the near future -- and this was a Russian
proposal -- we will hold an event in Moscow in the form of a
Russia-OPEC seminar," Shmatko said in the Siberian city of
"We will specify the date later, but I think it will take
place by the end of the year."
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and
Russia, the largest producer outside the group, rekindled a
courtship last year when oil prices slumped, leading many within
OPEC to expect Moscow would join its record production cuts.
The opposite has happened. Russia pushed output to a record
monthly high in August, grabbing market share from OPEC, and its
oil-heavy economy has shows early signs of recovery in part due
to the higher crude prices fostered by OPEC cuts. [ID:nL2461058]
Shmatko last month proposed a meeting with OPEC in Moscow.
Russia and other observers have been excluded from the group's
recent meetings, and Badri said after the latest gathering in
Vienna he was not encouraged by Russia's stance. [ID:nLA728188]
Only last week, Shmatko answered these comments by saying
Russia had made no promises to OPEC [ID:nLA362686]. But he said
on Thursday his proposal to restore contact had been accepted.
"We agreed that Russia and OPEC are interested in keeping
and developing the partnership that we have formed," the Russian
(Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin, editing by Anthony Barker)