Russian gas executive Leonid Bokhanovsky is set to become the first general secretary of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), nicknamed the gas OPEC.
Reports in Kommersant and Vedomosti said that Russia had needed to persuade Iran, Nigeria and Trinidad & Tobago to withdraw their candidates in favour of Bokhanovsky, a senior official at pipeline building firm Stroitransgaz.
Discussions with Iran were particularly difficult, with a marathon overnight negotiation in Doha finally reaching agreement on Dec. 9.
"The election of a Russian candidate is a big international victory of Russian diplomacy, comparable to Russia's victory in the competition for hosting the 2014 Winter [Olympic] Games, but it will have more serious consequences," Bokhanovsky said.
The forum comprises Qatar, Russia, Algeria, Bolivia, Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Trinidad & Tobago and Equatorial Guinea. It was established in the Iranian capital in 2001. Its charter was adopted at the seventh ministerial meeting in Moscow in 2008.