Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday his country was ready for deep oil production cuts with the United States and OPEC, but firmly put the blame for the collapse in oil prices on OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.
Speaking in a televised video conference with Russian government officials and domestic oil producers, Putin proposed to cut combined oil production by around 10 million barrels per day, or around 10% of global output.
Oil prices hit an 18-year low following the failure of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other large oil producers led by Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+, to extend their deal on output curbs last month.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 6.
In response to Putin’s remarks, Saudi Arabia denied Putin’s allegations that oil prices have fallen, including because of Riyadh’s withdrawal from the OPEC+ deal. According to the Saudis, these words are “completely devoid of truth,” since Russia came out of the agreement first.
“It is Russia that came out of the agreement,” Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said in a statement carried by the official news agency SPA, adding that Russia had not agreed to an extension of the deal.
The latest comments come as U.S. President Donald Trump touted the idea of a global effort to cut oil production by about 10 million barrels from first-quarter levels and stem the historic rout in crude prices.