The Soviet Union yesterday praised the OPEC decision to raise prices by 14.49 percent next year, calling it a "fully legitimate retaliatory reaction to the situation prevailing in the world capitalist economy."
Tass, the official Soviet news agency, also said in a commentary that the United States had used promises and indirect threats in an attempt to destroy OPEC.
Meanwhile OPEC's new secretary general, Rene Ortiz of Ecuador, said criticism of the price increase was unjustified and showed lack of appreciation for the self-control shown by the OPEC countries.
"The oil price rise was part of the measures to correct the world economic situation," Ortiz said. He gave no explanation of how the price increase would benefit the world economy.
Mexico, not a member of OPEC, announced that it will raise its crude oil prices 4.5 per cent to $13.70 a barrel Jan. 1 and, if it follows OPEC's lead as expected, will be charging $15 by the end of 1979.
OPEC's oil will go from $12.70 to $14.54 over the next year. Mexico charges a premium for its oil because of its proximity to the United States, which buys 85 percent of Mexico's daily exports of 480,000 barrels.