Qatar Leaders of natural gas-rich Russia and Qatar said Monday they would explore the creation of a natural gas cartel to represent the interests of producer countries to influence the global market.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Qatari Emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani said they wanted more cooperation among competing gas producers in their dealings with natural gas-consuming countries.
European Union leaders have said they would stand against any effort by Russia to create such a cartel, fearing gas prices - and Russia's political clout - could rise dramatically as a result. Europe gets 44 percent of its natural gas imports from Russia.
Putin said he would send a team of experts to a natural gas conference in April in Doha, where they would discuss details of building a cartel resembling the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Qatar is an OPEC member but Russia is not.