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Russian oil cuts to be symbolic - Finmin source

MOSCOW, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Russia's proposed oil export cuts are likely to be "symbolic," a senior Russian Finance Ministry source said on Saturday, a day after Moscow announced its willingness to curb supplies to help OPEC support prices.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov sent crude prices soaring on Friday when he said top domestic oil companies were set to propose export cuts, which the government also backed.

"The level of cuts is now under consideration," the source told reporters. "It is going to be rather symbolic than substantial."

OPEC oil ministers are meeting in Vienna on November 14 to decide on cutting exports by up to 1.5 million barrels a day. OPEC wants to boost prices which have fallen on fears of global recession and falling demand.

Russia, the world's second biggest world oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, will attend next week's meeting as an observer.

Crude oil spiked to $22.41 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, posting a five percent gain, on Kasyanov's comments. Benchmark Brent crude December futures stood at $21.38 a barrel on Friday.

The source said Moscow wanted more non-OPEC oil-producers to back the cartel's announced move before it would itself opt for big cuts.

"The statement by OPEC on possible oil export cuts should be supported by non-member countries, otherwise it could be that some will be limiting supply and others lining their pockets from it," the source said.

Oil producers like Mexico and Norway remain outside OPEC as does Russia. Oslo has already spurned joining the proposed OPEC cuts.

The source said Moscow did not expect falling oil prices to deal the Russian budget an immediate blow. The source made clear Russia could sustain planned 2002 expenditure if prices for its Urals brand fell as low as $12 per barrel, but only with fresh IMF funding.

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