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Russia renews support for oil freeze plan

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's Energy Minister Alexander Novak says Moscow will reach a deal with OPEC over a solution to stabilize oil prices.

Russia has voiced a strong support for a plan to freeze oil output by key producers for the stabilization of global oil markets.

The announcement was made by Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak after a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo in Vienna.

Novak emphasized that there is an urgent need to rebalance the oil market and help ease price volatility.

"Probably by winter we will see considerable overkill of supply over demand. Therefore there is an acute and urgent need to speed up the rebalancing," AFP quoted him as telling reporters.

The Russian energy minister also said that he had discussed specific mechanisms of a possible deal between Russia and OPEC in his meeting with the Organization’s chief Barkindo.

Options other than output freeze were considered as well, he added.

Novak further emphasized that he was confident that Moscow would reach an agreement to cooperate with OPEC on oil markets, Reuters reported. 

The talks in Vienna were aimed at discussing coordination on oil markets after OPEC last month agreed modest oil output cuts. OPEC's goal is to cut production to a range of 32.50-33.0 million barrels per day, the news service added.

Prior to his Vienna visit, Novak attended a ministerial meeting of Persian Gulf oil producers in Riyadh on Sunday.

Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters after the meeting that Russia and Saudi Arabia had found a common ground over a plan to stabilize oil prices.

"The current down cycle is nearing an end... We are optimistic that oil prices will continue to improve in the future," al-Falih said after the meeting.

“We [Saudi Arabia and Russia] have managed today... through a common meeting to reach a common notion to what we can reach in November,” Russia Today quoted the Saudi minister as saying in a report on its website. 

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