Mideast crisis to cause no fall in oil prices: Russian expert

August 6, 2006 - 0:0
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) - The current crisis in the Middle East will not cause a fall on oil prices in the near future, the head of the Russian Union of Oil Industrialists said Saturday.

"This is not a short-term conflict and in this connection I must say that [oil] prices will not fall," Yury Shafranik said.

Heavy fighting continues in southern Lebanon after three weeks of bloodshed in which more than 900 Lebanese people, largely civilians, have lost their lives. Around 70 Israelis have been killed, mainly servicemen.

Shafranik said the potential reserves of oil producing countries would satisfy the demand for several years.

Speaking about the rise in gasoline prices in Russia, Shafranik said it was caused by the government's decision and growth of the world oil prices.

He also said the increase of gasoline prices to 21-22 rubles ($0.8) would lead to a crisis that could stop the country's economic growth.