Cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia on supply cuts has at times provoked Washington's ire

Putin and Mohammed bin Salman urge oil cooperation as prices fall

Foto de Alexey NIKOLSKY / POOL / AFP - El presidente de Rusia, Vladimir Putin, y al príncipe heredero saudí, Mohamed bin Salman
photo_camera Photo by Alexey NIKOLSKY / POOL / AFP - Russia's President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman

The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia used an unusual face-to-face meeting to urge oil producers to deliver on promised supply cuts, a joint statement said Thursday. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin's trip to the Saudi capital a day earlier came as oil prices continued to fall, with US crude ending below $70 a barrel for the first time since July.

Analysts have begun to consider the possibility that Saudi Arabia may abruptly decide to open the taps, recalling a move by the kingdom in 2014 to counter rising US production. 

Meeting in Riyadh, Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Gulf kingdom's de facto ruler, highlighted the work of the 23-member OPEC+ group of oil producers "to improve the stability of global oil markets".

"They stressed... the need for all participating countries to adhere to the OPEC+ agreement, in a manner that serves the interests of producers and consumers and supports the growth of the global economy," said a statement from the official Saudi Press Agency.

The OPEC+ bloc unveiled new supply cuts after a virtual meeting last week, at which Russia said it would cut oil exports by 500,000 barrels per day between January and March, having already introduced a 300,000 barrel per day cut earlier this year. 

Saudi Arabia said it would extend its voluntary production cut of one million barrels per day over the same period.

Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Kazakhstan, Algeria and Oman agreed to smaller cuts.

Cooperation between Russia and Saudi Arabia on supply cuts has at times drawn Washington's ire.

Putin's trip on Wednesday, which also included a stopover in the United Arab Emirates, was only his third outside the former Soviet Union since he invaded Ukraine in February 2022. 

Putin and Prince Mohammed also expressed "deep concern about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza," where Israel launched military operations to root out Hamas after Palestinian militants staged the deadliest attack in Israel's history on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking about 240 hostages, according to Israeli officials.

The death toll in Gaza has exceeded 16,200, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry. 

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