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Putin, Prince Salman discuss oil market

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Russia says the country’s President Vladimir Putin has met Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in China to discuss a proposed oil supply freeze deal. (File)

Russia and Saudi Arabia have discussed the latest oil market situation in a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman in China on Sunday.  

President Putin and Prince Salman met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China’s Hangzhou, a spokesman for the Russian president was quoted by the media as saying.

The media also quoted Prince Salman as saying that a stable global oil market was unthinkable without cooperation by Russia and the Arab monarchy, two of the world’s biggest crude oil producers.

"Of course, cooperation in the oil sector was touched upon, but the focus was more on finance and high-tech as well as the WTO [World Trade Organization]," Russia’s Sputnik news agency quoted Dmitry Peskov as having told the reporters.

The meeting between Putin and Prince Salman follows an announcement over the weekend by the Russian President that Moscow wants OPEC and Russia to reach a supply freeze deal to help stabilize the prices of oil in international markets.

Putin also said that he expects the dispute over Iran’s participation in a tentative deal to the same effect can be resolved.

“From the viewpoint of economic sense and logic, then it would be correct to find some sort of compromise,” Putin had told Bloomberg. “I am confident that everyone understands that. We believe that this is the right decision for world energy.”

The oil freeze plan that has been raised by key OPEC and non-OPEC producers requires the global production of oil to remain at January levels.  The plan is meant to boost the prices that have fallen 65 percent since peaking in June 2014 due to oversupply.

Iran had so far rejected the call to freeze its output as unfair and emphasized that it will go ahead with its plans to increase its oil production.

Nevertheless, the Russian president told Bloomberg that oil producers recognize that Iran, which has mostly restored the output halted during three years of trade restrictions, deserves to complete its return to world markets.

“Iran is starting from a very low position, connected with the well-known sanctions in relation to this country,” Putin said. “It would be unfair to leave it on this sanctioned level.”

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